Belle Epicurean's Coconut Cake

’Tis the season to visit the glass case up front at this beloved French bakery.

Who would blame you if you never got past the heavenly butter croissants, warmed in the oven to order, at the tony new Belle Epicurean in Madison Valley?

The seductive scent of butter reaches your nose as a server whisks the croissant to your table, a linen napkin and cutlery placed alongside; quite civilized. But for the extravagant splurge—’tis the season!—I recommend a gander into the glass case up front.

That’s where the exquisite layered cakes await in measured rows. And amongst them, this wintry jewel: a sticky coconut cake ($5.79/slice, or the whole cake for $24 small/$48 large), with its sliver-fine layers of cake, dense cream cheese and coconut milk icing, topped with shredded sweet coconut.

It’s like a little holiday dusting, even if there’s no snow on the ground.

3109 E Madison St.; 206.466.1320;