Vanille Pâtisserie: "French Macarons in the Heartland" Vanille Pâtisserie Tip by BeatChick

Vanille Pâtisserie, Chicago: 1 reviews and 5 photos

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Sunday, I found a patisserie, Vanille Patisserie, that sells macarons, croissants, and chocolates just like those you find in Paris. These macarons tasted exactly like Ladurée macarons made from a marzipan & meringue confection, not with flour and coconut like you think of here in the US. These prove to be light and airy with a thinner-than-paper crispiness on the outside, many filled with a flavored buttercream, some with jam (confiture). I regret to say this but it's true, these are even better than the ones that can be had at Jean-Robert's Greenup Café in Newport; the flavors subtler, the macarons fresher, and a wider variety of flavors. Not to mention being less exensive! Mini macarons run $1.10, less than what you'd pay in Paris (1.40? - about $2.10).

I bought several croissants: blueberry, pain au chocolat (chocolate-filled) and almond to take home to my family. Flaky and crisp on the outside, tender, fluffy & multilayered in the middle. The croissants were like, well, anywhere in Paris!

The chocolates tasted and looked like the ones from Debauve & Gallais (including the painted on words of the flavors on the chocolates). I bought Mr. Connolly 6 dark chocolates (2 Earl Grey Tea Ganache, 2 Chamomile Tea Ganache, 2 Coffee Ganache).

Of the croissants & macarons I tried in Chicago, including at Au Bon Pain and NoMI inside the Hilton, these were by far the best! The chef, Dimitri Fayard is French and trained in France and studied under François Payard at Payard's Pâtisserie & Bistro in NYC. His wife, co-owner Keli Fayard, is a Chicago native trained at a Culinary Institute of America. She trained with her husband at Payard's in NYC and tested recipes for Payard's cookbook. They both also worked at the Bellagio in LV.

Favorite Dish: Pistachio (Pistache with pistachio buttercream)
Rose with rose buttercream
Raspberry (Framboise with raspberry jam)
Chocolate (Chocolat with chocolat buttercream)
Vanilla (Vanille with vanille buttercream), and a new favorite
Ginger Orange Macarons with ginger orange buttercream (ohmydeargod divine)!

Terry loved the coffee ganache chocolates but wasn't quite prepared for such advanced flavors as Earl Grey or Chamomile Tea ganache (he's a heathen, I know).

My son LOVED the pain au chocolat! Being used to the ones from our local Trader Joe's he stated that those are very good but that THESE are the bomb! Now he knows why I love going to Paris (and, erm, to Chicago)!!

Photos: September 2007

Address: 2229 N Clybourn Ave, Chicago, IL
Price Comparison: about average
Directions: Not located close to any El line, it's worth the hike. It's about a 20 minute walk northeast from Clybourn Metra station on the Red Line.
Phone: (773) 868-4574
Price: less than US$10
Rating: 5
Theme: Bakery
Website: http://www.vanillepatisserie.com/

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Feb 18, 2008
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