There are plenty of cafes in the Loop -- and more than a few bakeries -- but nothing quite like Toni Patisserie, a Hinsdale-based bakery that opened up a few weeks ago, just across the street from Millennium Park.
"It's a little bit different here. We're doing more of a cafe with made-to-order sandwiches," said Toni Mariecos, owner of Toni Patisserie. "We often do special menus for holidays and seasonal menus as well. So we always have those menus, we try to have a mix of fruit and chocolates as well as things with nuts."
Salted caramel tarts are big hits, embedded with both homemade salted caramel and a luscious Belgian Callebaut chocolate ganache. It's not all chocolate, of course. Fruit plays a role, both in tarts that are colorful temptations as well as in the cherry panna cotta: essentially vanilla custard with brandied cherries and chocolate curls. French macarons are light and crispy, made in several different flavors each day; there's also tiny indulgences like linzer cookies and blueberry galettes; even cinnamon bundt cake slices.
There are also plenty of savory items. Homemade quiche Lorraine contains caramelized onions and bacon, plus healthy amounts of milk and gruyere cheese. The cafe also features a number of sandwiches, loaded with various hams, cheeses and vegetables. It's that focus on all things French that's luring tourists and locals back for more.
"We've had a lot of people coming into the store telling us that it's like a vacation here in Chicago. They feel like they just dropped into Paris, which is a nice thing for people to be telling us," Mariecos said.
So let the kids have their caramel corn and Snickers! Adults, you can get galettes, tarts and macarons to your heart's content this Halloween.
Toni Patisserie and Cafe
65 E. Washington St.
51 S. Washington St.
Hinsdale, IL 60521