BonBonerie Opera Cream Torte
BonBonerie Opera Cream Torte
Before cupcakes were trendy, before donuts were topped with bacon, before macarons were having their moment, there was Opera Cream Torte.

Cincinnati may be known for ice cream (the popular hometown Graeter’s brand drew a shout-out from Oprah), but its signature fancy dessert is Opera Cream Torte—layers of dark chocolate cake studded with chocolate chips, filled with white chocolate buttercream and dressed in dark chocolate ganache. While you’ll find it on the dessert menu of countless local eateries, the very best place to get an Opera Cream Torte (go ahead: buy a whole cake) is where it’s made: at The BonBonerie in O’Bryonville. 
 
The BonBonerie
The BonBonerie
Sharon Butler and Mary Pat Pace opened The BonBonerie in 1983, and it remains a beloved source for classic European-style pastries. Its pies and cakes have graced family tables for more than 30 years— pumpkin cheesecakes at Thanksgiving, festive Yule Logs for Christmas, lemon blueberry cakes for summer birthdays. Cincinnati brides elicit nods of approval when they mention that their wedding cakes came from The BonBonerie. 
 
BonBonerie Cake Pops
BonBonerie Cake Pops
Butler and Pace launched their sweet business well before restaurants paid much mind to dessert, before pastry chefs became food TV stars. Locals appreciate the bakery’s throwback approach. “We have established ourselves as a place for people to add that special thing for their event or meal,” Butler says. “They come here because they can’t get it anywhere else. We are from a time when the details mattered, like a doily in a box. Our theme has always been for things to be beautiful and delicious.” 
 
Both the bakery and its sister tearoom—where you can enjoy breakfast or a light lunch and a cup of coffee or tea, along with The BonBonerie’s signature scones—live up to Butler’s vision: beautiful and delicious.
 

Megan Ketover, pastry chef at Orchids at Palm Court
Megan Ketover, pastry chef at Orchids at Palm Court

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Classical pastry technique and modern, farm-to-table cooking collide in Megan Ketover’s kitchen. Pastry chef at Downtown’s AAA Five Diamond restaurant, Orchids at Palm Court, Ketover is homegrown, having graduated from the Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State. Her creations change frequently to incorporate seasonal fruits and flavors; they’re the perfect grace notes to end a memorable meal. Ketover has won accolades from foodies nationwide as a participant on Bravo network’s “Top Chef Just Desserts,” and the American Culinary Federation named her Pastry Chef of the Year/Northeast. We won’t brag on her; we’ll just save room for her desserts.
 

Written by Bryn Mooth.