Tony’s Off Third is a True Bakery –
A Note from Tony
Tony’s Off Third is a true bakery. We use real ingredients – the best flour, butter, chocolate, and so much more – to create, from scratch, the sweet treats you see in our pastry case daily. We’ve been at this for more than 20 years, and we’re getting pretty good at it! There are two main components to Tony’s Off Third’s baking process – the bakery itself, where batters are mixed, tarts assembled, breads proofed, and of course housing our oven, and the finishing room, where our decorators take the raw product and add their flourish and finishing touch. We’re hands-on, from start to finish, and take huge pride in being able to see, genuinely, that we’re a scratch bakery.
Our priorities are taste and texture. However simple or complex a recipe, we are always testing and refining to create the best end product. We don’t use overly esoteric ingredients. I, personally, am anti-gelatin except when absolutely needed; my personal opinion is that pastry chefs rely on gelatin far too often when the right technique would deliver the same quality product.
The bakery is still my happy place. The hands-on process has always been a calming influence in my career. The bakery and finishing room are joyous places to be – filled with smiles and fun, loving what we create for you each day. Clifford is our head baker, and my right-hand man when it comes to production. He loves what he does almost – or maybe even more – than I do, and that’s saying a lot. Lexie is our head pastry chef, bringing our cakes and pastries to life with her decorations.
Taste and smell are huge in the bakery. I love to challenge my olfactory senses, to see if I can identify what is baking and whether it’s ready to come out of the oven by smell alone. I’m proud to say, I’m pretty reliable at it. The bakery on a busy day is bustling. We bake, among so much more, 10 varieties of cookies, 5 varieties of galettes, breakfast pastries including scones, muffins, coffee cake and sticky buns, all the bread that is served in Ridgway Bar & Grill, and of course our specialty cakes for all occasions.
We are always trying to introduce new temptations, as well. Have you tried our new cheesecakes lately? A favorite of Clifford’s, he’s taken the lead, with rave reviews so far. We’ve experimented with old fashioned cheesecake with fresh strawberries, fresh blueberries, and fresh raspberries. We’ve done an oreo cheesecake, and a caramel cheesecake brownie. They’re all irresistible.
What are my favorites? It’s hard to narrow down, but I love our apple galette (warm, from the oven, of course, with vanilla ice cream), our plum frangipane galette, coffee cake, sticky buns, chocolate almond torte (a modern update on a favorite dessert we used to serve in The Chef’s Garden), and Clifford’s strawberry cheesecake. My ultimate favorite dessert may be among the simplest: old-fashioned yellow butter cake with fudge icing. Not fancy, just perfect taste and texture. I love our carrot cake, of course; a classic that goes back to my earliest days in the business. No fruit or nuts; just the classic cake, perfectly spiced. I like to grab one of the carrot cupcakes straight from the oven, no need for the cream cheese icing.
Have you ever tried our Key Lime Tart? Nothing is more quintessentially Florida and I would wager that ours stands up against the best of the best. In fact, I believe in it so much, I’m going to make it available for free tasting in our bakery every Friday afternoon, 3-5pm. What sets ours apart from the others? For one, we use triple the amount of key lime juice, so the tartness of the fruit comes forward. We also use a fresh graham cracker crust, instead of a pie crust, which lends the right balance of sweetness. Topped with fresh, made-from-scratch whipped cream (the only kind of whipped cream we use), they’re truly the best. So stop by Tony’s Off Third for your taste, Friday afternoons. Just in time for weekend entertaining! Don’t worry – we always have some available for purchase.
Some of you may know that the Naples Daily News is running their annual Choice Awards promotion. If you would be so inclined to write in a vote for us in the bakery category, we’d be much obliged. We’d also be just as happy if you stop by the shop to see us for a cup of coffee, sweet fix, cake order, wine purchase, or Key Lime sample this Friday!