The Biker and The Baker

Besides my love for mealtime, my heart is fueled by chocolate and wine. No matter the location or time of day, I am in my happy place when I have a good glass of red wine and anything rich and sweet to satisfy my palate. A little over a year ago, my idea of heaven in the form of a wine and dessert bar opened in downtown Salida on First Street. Quirky restaurateurs Rob and Sarah Gartzman offer patrons the third installment of their creative cuisine with The Biker and the Baker, appropriately named for each of their unfeigned passions in the valley.

Through exposed brick walls and vintage floral wallpaper combined with a hodgepodge of comfortable, antique furniture and jewel-tone color themes, it has the elegance and appeal of fine dining without the pretentiousness and expensive tab. The atmosphere of this unique, specialty-style eatery is reminiscent of a post-modern European café or big city, date-night dining but also provides the ultimate luxury with its constantly changing menu options made in-house and friendly, laid-back service, allowing each visit to be its own complete experience.

Co-owner Sarah Gartzman dubs herself the Willy Wonka of pastry chefs with her exclusive, never-use-the-same-recipe-twice mentality on fine desserts, offering a new fashionable menu every single week. Who knew the world of food could be so trendy? Her ideas are sparked by leftovers from the week before or inspiration from repeat customers, and each dish is plated as a picture-perfect piece of art. The Biker and the Baker offers cheese and charcuterie boards, homemade pickled items, jams and jellies, tapenades and baked-fresh bread with house-made butter, in addition to all their delectable desserts.

Gartzman’s gift for creativity is obvious with this anomaly of a restaurant in the valley, which has been a dream of hers since culinary school. Though it was never the goal for this husband-and-wife duo to have three restaurants, Gartzman said their businesses, like life, evolves. Anytime there is a niche for something that cannot be found, the lightbulb goes off and so begins a new venture.

“I am always thinking of outside-the-box flavor combinations; it is an addiction, and I never really sleep, so the ideas are always flowing. I am the most inspired by traveling and seeing other amazing desserts but also by things we already make and turning them into something completely different,” said Gartzman.

“I hate wasting things, so I love being able to give a use to something that wouldn’t otherwise have a home, like turning half a jar of blueberry jam into tomorrow’s dessert. I love being able to give people in town a taste of something new.”

Check out the Biker and the Baker Instagram to keep your mouth watering. Even when she is busy in the kitchen, Gartzman loves to keep her patrons involved with all the new concoctions she is experimenting with, and you’ll definitely be anticipating the weekend so you can try the newest B&B treat!  

Hours: Every week, Thursday-Sunday 4-10 p.m.

Instagram: @bikerandbaker