Growing up in Tehran, Iran, Fataneh Dowlatshahi loved to visit a certain bakery cafe near her house. “It was a beautiful place owned by a sweet couple, and I always thought I’d have a place like that,” she says. “That was my dream, since I was 10 years old.” That dream has come true. Dowlatshahi opened Bibi Bakery Cafe, a tiny spot in Westwood, in May. “Bibi,” explains Dowlatshahi, is what she called her great-grandmother. It’s also the name of a famous bakery in Tehran. Pastry chef Ambreen Hasan is making pastries; bread baker Paolo Amado produces ciabatta for sandwiches, as well as baguettes and croissants. Hearty beet soup, one of several in a rotating schedule, is warming on a cold day. A blueberry scone is light as a feather and not too sweet; delightful Nutella rugelach is just the opposite, as it should be: rich and indulgent.
Dowlatshahi offers two specialties from home. One is gata, a sweet bread stuffed with butter and sugar (the recipe comes from her Armenian great-grandmother); the other, carrot jam seasoned with cardamom. Another old-country specialty is also in evidence. Bibi is surely as warm and welcoming as the cafe Dowlatshahi remembers.
Bibi Bakery Cafe, 1 Church St., Westwood, 718-320-9900.