Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Pastry Quest

[Rob] Our first stop was at Bittersweet, which came highly recommended as the best in town. When I asked folks where we should go I said, "I don't want bars and brownies." Bittersweet had some of what I wanted, but focused more on b&bs. We sampled their shortbread, macaroons (French not coconut), and a ganache tart. All were very nice, and I especially liked the silkiness of the ganache - I have a new standard to shoot for with my own. These were the first macaroons I have had other than my own and realized that I was on track with what I was making.

Then we took a 15 minute walk to Vanille Patisserie. Now this is what I was looking for! Over the top complicated pastries. In fact, we walked out with nearly $50 in sugar, most of which was eaten by noon (with our friends). Here we had an orange exotic mousse, macaroons, a caramel espresso mousse and a few other fun things. We waited too long and all of the mousses had died from heat exhaust so they were unphotographable, but they all tasted amazing. The macaroons are coming back to Silver with us to share with staff and volunteers (and my stomach). The staff at VP was exceptional with their friendliness and generosity of information. Hands down VP was the better of the two, but both are heads above the rest. Definitely worth a visit for anyone going to Chicago.

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