Few sweets really grab me unless they involve mascarpone and fruit, like any version of the Chantilly cake or the Princess cake from Bywater Bakery. That said, one week into Carnival season I have been safe from king cake overindulgence. Then the annual box of treats from my extended family in Sweden finally arrived. Swedish candy is a thing and I have a thing for it. The box was stuffed with a tin of Pepparkator (a kind of ginger snap), several varieties of Polkapajkarnas (like thick, brittle candy canes in different fruit flavors), and several varieties of Marabou milk chocolate including one with popcorn bits with toffee crumbles and another with candied orange bits with toffee crumbles. My cousin, Berth Ramsing, loves this stuff, too, so he is very generous with the annual care package filled with Swedish candy.

Less than a week since its arrival the box has been ravaged and I feel poisoned.

It is time to seek refuge in things light and fresh. The Elysian Bar’s new lunch menu looks like just the ticket. Located in the Hotel Peter & Paul (formerly the Church of Saints Peter & Paul, the Catholic Church where my father, my connection to the Swedish family and the Swedish candy, was baptized in 1929), the Elysian Bar is open for breakfast, lunch, cocktails, and dinner daily. Created by Executive Chef Jonathan Klaskala, the new menu is bright with flavorful and lighter lunch options to satisfy without weighing you down. Just what I want right now. Menu highlights include the Snapper Tartar served atop a bright coconut, cilantro and tomatillo broth and the Little Gem Salad tossed in an avocado dressing with heirloom cherry tomatoes and crunchy seeds. For those not seeking deliverance from the ills of king cake or Swedish candy, heartier dishes include a gorgeous French Rolled Omelet with smoked salmon, crème fraiche and mixed greens, as well as Crab & Ricotta Gnocchi with Calabrian chiles and umami packed bottarga breadcrumbs.

Have a great weekend everyone. Try not to overindulge.