Twenty Six Divine is kind of like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get — but you can bet it will be tasty. Owners Enan and Jennifer Meintel Parezo keep customers on their toes with a daily menu of to-go items created from what's available, what's in season, and what kind of mood they're in. They typically post the day's menu on their website and Facebook page, but items have been known to sell out early in the day. When that happens, the chefs flex their creative muscles and whip up something brand new.
These improvisational skills are what set the Parezos apart. "We literally talk about food all day," Jennifer says. "We're constantly bouncing ideas off of each other. We work really well together."
Both boast impressive resumés, including stints at Charleston Place Hotel — Enan worked there as chef de cuisine and Jennifer worked as assistant pastry chef (and at the Sanctuary as well). They've spent the last few years cooking and catering in private homes and for events. In April, they opened their home base in a renovated single house on the far reaches of King Street.
You'll find fresh sandwiches (like seared beef tenderloin and Boursin with tomato, spinach, and caramelized onion on focaccia, $6), soups (lobster fennel bisque, $3.25), and vacuum-sealed dinners for two (Thai beef with jasmine rice, edamame, shittake mushrooms, carrots, and bean sprouts, $14) at Twenty Six Divine. But the focus here is on the desserts — and they certainly live up to the restaurant's name.
Trained at the Scottsdale Culinary Institute Le Cordon Bleu, Jennifer is an instinctual baker. "I love to just brainstorm and create," she says. "If the flavors sound good, I make it and try it." Sometimes she won't even know what she's making until that morning. With a flair for color and presentation, her desserts look like something you'd pay big bucks for in a high-end restaurant, but you can usually take one home for less than a Lincoln.
A recent visit found a mini chocolate angel food cake, topped with cream and fresh mango, along with a decadent cherry chocolate torte. Other recent creations include homemade kiwi gellies, sticky sweet financiers, and espresso and marshmallow trail mix in gift-ready packaging.
Check their website for the day's menu, but just remember, if the pomegranate roobios tea-infused chocolate truffles sound tempting, make your way to Twenty Six Divine before they all get snatched up.