Where the cakes are like art
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Lady M Cake Boutique on Newbury Street is a small takeout bakery with unadorned, bright white walls. The exquisite confections in the glass case with onyx inlays are what beautify the room. "For us, the cakes are like art and we want to present it like art," says owner Ken Romaniszyn, who also has locations in New York and Los Angeles. There are franchises in Hong Kong and Singapore. Kazuko Emy Wada opened the first Lady M (for "Emy") in Tokyo in the 1980s, and Romaniszyn's family helped start the company. Among the stunning cakes at the new shop is Checkers Cake, enrobed in dark chocolate ganache, the interior made of vanilla and chocolate sponge; a light whipped cream divides the squares ($80 for a 9-inch cake; $8 a slice). Strawberry shortcake is made with superfine flour imported from Japan and fresh strawberries, swathed in whipped cream ($45 for a 6-inch cake; $75 for a 9-inch cake; $7.50 a slice). But Lady M Mille Crepes are the signature dessert here. Although "mille" means 1,000, the cakes are actually 20 layers of paper-thin, handmade crepes separated by subtly sweet pastry cream lightened with whipped cream, in flavors such as vanilla, coconut, and lemon. The top crepe is sprinkled with sugar and lightly caramelized ($45 to $50 for a 6-inch cake; $80 to $85 for a 9-inch cake; $8 a slice). The dessert is so silky and delicate, the first taste evokes the feeling you bit into a cloud. The Green Tea Mille Crepes is a standout, sweet and earthy; matcha is infused in the pasty cream, the top crepe dusted generously with the green powder. The marriage of texture and flavors is ethereal. The shop may eventually have seating, Romaniszyn says. "We want to give people a little serenity, an oasis from the hustle and bustle." Lady M Boutique, 304 Newbury St., Back Bay, Boston, 617-329-5555, or order at www.ladym.com.