‘I am happy to report that an exciting (Trenton) newcomer: Studio B Bakery & Bistro, which serves breakfast and lunch,” writes established New Jersey restaurant reviewer and food writer Pat Tanner. “It has so many things going for it, first and foremost among which is proprietor Bert Dumas, a veteran chef who brings specialties from his native Louisiana into the mix.”
Dumas started his career at the world famous Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in New Orleans and continued as a pastry chef on Capitol Hill. He recently directed the culinary program at Sur La Table as Resident Chef in New Jersey, all while serving as personal chef to international TV personalities. Before relocating to New Jersey, Chef Dumas was an executive chef in Florida, Virginia and Washington D.C.
Many in the area got a taste of Dumas during the summer when was a presence at the Capital City Farmers Market at Mill Hill Park, where in the open air he would talk about his brick and mortar store — now located at 429 South Broad Street, in the former Conduit building next to Trenton Social.
“We are joining the revitalization of the Trenton community by expanding dining options for local residents and downtown workers,” says Dumas. “Studio B’s mission is to assure the best service, inspirational design and incredible flavor without sacrifice — the menu includes healthy, vegan and gluten-free options — and a comfortable space with complimentary Wi-Fi.”
With early community support through a 2015 crowdsourcing campaign, the business plans “to maintain a positive footprint in the community by hiring locally and expanding opportunities for local teens through a hospitality internship program,” say promotional materials.
Studio B specializes in gourmet sandwiches, salads, breakfast items and New Orleans style beignets. Studio B retail operations focus on bespoke cakes, confections and delicate pastries which are made from scratch on site daily. Studio B catering serves groups of all sizes, from birthday parties to weddings, and offers a variety of retail products.
According to Tanner, who visited on opening day, the other good things going for Studio B are good, strong coffee with chicory ($3) and excellent hot beignets, fried dough squares covered with powdered sugar ($4).
Tanner continues as follows: “I enjoyed both the Orleans Scramble ($5) — three eggs scrambled with andouille and onions — and a version of chicken and waffles that was new to me, since it includes pulled chicken in a fresh-tasting mango chutney ($9). For this dish, diners can choose between gluten-free rice waffles or buttermilk waffles. (I chose the latter and, while fluffy and tasty, I did wish they had had crisper exteriors.) Vegan and gluten-free items, such as the rice waffle option, are scattered throughout the menu.
“Among the interesting salad choices is the Trenton Chop Shop (pork roll, turkey, avocado, cukes, cheddar, egg, and tomato on romaine with toasted nuts, fried onions, and honey mustard yogurt dressing). Sandwich and panini options include a version of a muffaletta made with pork roll, capicola, salami, mortadella, and olive salad. Mac n cheese with white cheddar, smoked gouda, gruyere, caramelized onions, and grilled chicken is one of three warm pasta on offer. The high-ceilinged room is mostly white — including a white marble counter — with black accents. Glass display counters hold Chef Dumas’s special baked goods, among them macarons, individual fruit tarts, and bread pudding.”
After noting “the good-natured staff was overwhelmed” on opening day, the Trenton-savvy Tanner hoped for its success, noting “this is the kind of breakfast place that Trenton deserves.”
Studio B Bakery & Bistro, 429 South Broad Street, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.