Where unique blends meet decadent desserts
When it comes to coffeeshop and bakery options, local residents find themselves with limited choices in the area. But that’s all set to change with the opening of The Vanilla Bean, a new eatery that will offer patrons unique blends of both coffee and dessert.
Owned by Mineola residents Emad and Aida Antoun, the bakery and espresso bar opened its doors this past weekend at 242 Voice Rd. (in the Big Lots shopping center). The husband and wife team love baking and pastries, with Emad having a 14-year career managing restaurants and Aida a self-taught baker who’s been honing her skills since she was about six years old.
With a 14-year career managing restaurants, Emad said he knew opening his own place would be challenging, but the couple is confident their experience plus distinctive menu will lead to success.
“Opening a business includes so many preparations, but most important is the menu,” Emad said. “The product is what attracts the customers. The main focus is the quality of the product and we don’t sacrifice or compensate.”
The Vanilla Bean offers patrons their favorite desserts in a new way, with Aida, who created the menu, putting her special twist on each dish.
“I always try to see how I can make things better. I put twists on classic desserts and try to put together unique flavor combinations,” Aida said. “Some things that other bakeries may have, I make them exceptional.”
Among highlights on the dessert menu are the strawberry jasmine and Earl grey salted caramel macarons; chocolate caramel fleur de sel cake, an intense chocolate cake layered with fleur de sel caramel and chocolate ganache frosting, studded with salted almonds and finished with caramel whipped cream; Snickers cupcakes, a rich chocolate cupcake filled with caramel and peanuts, topped with peanut butter marshmallow frosting; and Campfire s’mores cupcakes, a chocolate cupcake with a graham cracker crust, surmounted with homemade toasted marshmallow frosting.
Aida said one of her favorite dishes to make is the Mademoiselle, a flourless chocolate cake base with hazelnut praline paste and a chocolate mousse dome, all drenched in bittersweet chocolate ganache and crunchy pralines on the outside. It’s a time consuming dish, said Aida, but a labor of love.
“The time consuming desserts are the ones I enjoy making the most. I love watching people’s reactions when they take that first bite and close their eyes and shake their heads in wonder,” said Aida. “I feel like they can feel the labor of love. That’s what it’s about, spreading love and happiness through food.”
Pairing perfectly with the scrumptious desserts is the Bean’s espresso bar, a unique coffee blend mix of Brazilian and Colombian roast coffee. Emad describes the roast as “nice and tasty,” with hints of chocolate, graham crackers and hazelnut. They will also offer lattes, macchiatos and frappe drinks.
The new space can seat 57 people and will offer both a casual seating area, as well as a dine-in section where there will be table service. Diners will not only be able to enjoy the decadent desserts, but an evolving menu of sandwiches and salads as well.
The Mineola residents said they decided to open up in Carle Place because they felt it was lacking a good bakery product place.
“This is a very nice neighborhood, with a lot of shops and traffic, but we tried every bakery around and we didn’t see anyone where we liked the product,” said Emad. “We live in the community and would love to serve the community by serving this product.”
Find out more about The Vanilla Bean by visiting www.facebook.com/The-Vanilla-Bean-NY-859307177538234/.