It’s true. I have a new object of affection.
It all began in January at one of my favorite coffee shops in Chicago. I know what you’re thinking. Such a cute girl meets boy story… in a perfect world, people! I’m talking about girl meets scone. It was here in this coffee shop that I took my first bite of the most perfect buckwheat and blackberry scone. The kind of scone that ticks off all the boxes on the list. Ever since, I have been on the hunt for it’s origins.
This is the point where Floriole came into my life.
Floriole is the sweetest little bakery tucked discretely into the Lincoln Park neighborhood. They make their pastries the French way, which, if we’re being frank, is the only way. Utilizing the bien cuit technique, which means all the pastries are baked to the point right before burning, leaving them with luscious, flakey, golden brown results. It’s risky, but so worth it. One bite of the pain au chocolat, and you’ll know exactly what I mean.
Oh, and did I mention, they’re farm to table? Swoon.I’ve been devouring the scones along with my coffee or tea for months now. At times I’ve strayed, and gone for the savory and fruit scones. Both are highly recommended, and make the perfect snack any time of the day.
On a recent visit to the cafe I got a chance to try a few more of the menu items…
I started with the pots de panna cotta and whipped cheese cake. They were almost too beautiful to eat, but thank god I did! They use milk from Kilgus Farmstead, which made for the freshest flavor imaginable.
The texture of the whipped cheese cake was divine. The almond crumble not too crunchy and the roasted rhubarb not too tart. All great things in life revolve around finding the perfect balance, and Floriole did just that with this dessert.
The panna cotta was bright from the layer of fruit gelle on top and fresh from the local cream. The flowers on top even came from the roof top garden!
Floriole takes farm to table seriously. From the water cooler, to the sprawling weathered wood table overlooking the cafe from a lofted perspective, all the details provoke the provincial feeling of being in a French farm house.Before our lunch came, I was able to take a peak into the herb garden, where they source ingredients and garnishes during the warmer months. When the months turn, and they can no longer gather from their own roof top, they source ingredients within a 300 mile radius of the cafe. After the amazing panna cotta and cheesecake, I tried the avocado toast and salmon tartine with greens fresh from the roof top garden! Avocado is a constant in my life, and I love trying everyone’s version of my favorite go to meal. The mashed avocado was a deadly combination topped on their own bread. The soft springy inside of the daily made loaves was protected by the delightfully provincial crust. The nutty flavor of the bread harmonized perfectly with the creamy avocado and provided contrast to the brightness of the lemon zest and lovely crunch from the radish slices. I loved the addition of the pickled onions to the salmon tartine. The sweet acidity kept the smokiness of the salmon from being overpowering. On my way out I had to try the famed Floriole croissant. One bite of the flakey puff of heaven and I was transported to my time abroad, walking along the Tuileries in Paris. Floriole isn’t your typical cliché French bakery. They adhere to all the traditional boulangerie techniques and are just as good, if not better than anything you will find abroad.
Take a look at the menu. I dare you not to drool.