By Jenny Berg Posted December 27, 2011, 10:00 AM EST
CHICAGO These three new places provide space for meeting over sweet treats.
1. In the Loop, Toni Patisserie and Café opened in August. With marble counters and glass cases filled with pastries, the French café-inspired venue seats 60 people and can host receptions for 75. Specialty treats include salted caramel tarts, chocolate- raspberry mousse, and petit fours.
2. The 8,500-square-foot, bilevel Bleeding Heart Bakery and Cafe opened in West Town in August. The upper level holds 60 people and is available for private events; a rooftop garden and educational farm will open this spring and also host private events. Menu items include the Punk Rock Princess doughnut—a lemon-filled pink hibiscus doughnut with strawberry glaze—as well as scones, cream puffs, macaroons, and candy bars.
3. New York cupcake mecca Magnolia Bakery opened downtown in October. With pastel walls, lace curtains, and aprons hanging from hooks on the walls, the homey bakery can host private events for 100 guests after 9 p.m. Sugary snacks include cupcakes, banana pudding, and cakes.