Rhubarb galette from Floriole (photo by Joseph Storch)
I've always been a fan of Sandra Holl's work. Over the past few years, she's maintained a small booth at the Green City Market in Lincoln Park on Wednesdays and Saturdays, selling her French pastries and ethereal seasonal berry bread pudding. But she's always wanted to have a full-time space, with a real kitchen and a cafe, so she could expand her offerings as well as start selling some savory items as well. After more than a few delays and equipment setbacks, Holl opened Floriole Cafe & Bakery on West Webster Avenue (just a few doors West of Sweet Mandy B's) a few weeks ago, to the delight of many of her weekly fans at the Market. By the way, anyone who has the confidence to put their macarons on their home page is o.k. in my book.
Asparagus galette (photo by Joseph Storch)
If Sweet Mandy B's is the defacto destination for after school kids and their moms - think cupcakes and cookies - then Floriole is the more mature, slightly refined older sister. Galettes and croissants share the pastry case with delicate buttermilk panna cotta that has a thick layer of berries on top, as well as traditional cannele and of course, her seasonal bread pudding and fruit crisps. Holl is also making sandwiches, mini-pizzettas and quiches for lunch, with flavors so far this season containing asparagus, ramps and goat cheese. Even though she has a bricks-and-mortar operation, she still thinks like a market vendor, using as much as she can in the cafe. Yet since she's got a base of operations on Webster Avenue, she doesn't necessarily have to conform to the Green City Market rule of using only organic/pesticide-free items here. If you want to see more from the bakery, check out my story here after 11:30 a.m. today.
Asparagus quiche (photo by Joseph Storch)