New business on Lovers Lane becomes student meeting place
Since opening at 4314 Lovers Lane across from Highland Park High School this spring, Sugar and Sage Bakery has gotten involved by supporting the first pep rally of the fall season and become a hot spot for athletics meetings.
“It’s been really great being right adjacent to the high school because we’ll have high school students come in before their workouts or school, and I’ll see them having meetings,” chef Jill Bates said. “I love that they came into the bakery and had a coffee, a croissant, and just had a meeting space in here.”
Bates said Ashley Sage Weinstein, 17, who helped open the bakery with her mother, Alison, heavily influenced the look and feel of the restaurant.
“The bakery was definitely inspired by Ashley Sage – that’s who Sugar (and) Sage comes from,” Bates said of Ashley. “When they were kind of designing the space, of course, the designers met her – the concept designers.”
The bakery has a patio with a “kinda sweet, kinda salty” mural nodding to Ashley. Bates said the “kinda sweet, kinda salty” tagline meshed well with her too.
“I think they were testing out chefs, and I made a cookie, a chocolate chip cookie,” Bates said. “I always put salt on mine, and she liked that. I think that’s where she was like, ‘OK, Jill, I think you win because I like your cookies the best.’”
“We get along really great, and they’re just such a superfamily,” Bates added.
Bates, who spent years alongside Dean Fearing at Fearing’s/The Ritz-Carlton and at the Mansion on Turtle Creek, was most recently tapped by Chef Chad Houser to lead Café Momentum’s pastry program before joining Sugar and Sage.
She partnered with James Beard Award-winning Chef Michael Laiskonis, who led the pastry program at New York’s 3-Michelin-starred Le Bernardin for eight years, to create recipes for Sugar and Sage at a New York test kitchen.
“When I came in to consult and work on it with them, we all kind of developed the recipes together, but Alison kind of knew what she wanted,” Bates said. “She wanted pristine, unique, beautiful, approachable pastries.”
The menu includes:
Sweets like cookies, cupcakes, and doughnuts.
More savory breads like focaccia.
Elevated selections like Kouign-Amann and Brioche Feuilletée.
Artisan breads and baguette sandwiches.
A coffee program crafted by Dallas-based Noble Coyote Coffee Roasters.
“We’re always creating and changing,” she added.
Bates’ favorites are anything involving laminated dough, like croissants or danishes.
“I love the process,” she said.