After savoring croissants in France with their flaky, golden outside and folds of salty, buttery goodness inside, I was pretty certain nothing would come close to that perfect in Chicago, or in the United States for that matter. For the record, I feel the same way about Chicago style hot dogs. That kind of perfection on a poppy seed bun cannot be replicated.
That said, having breakfast at Floriole Cafe and Bakery is about as close as you are going to get to Paris. The croissants attain the level of quality you will find in any boulangerie. However, just like a Chicago hot dog really doesn't feel right without a heavy Chicago accent next to you, a croissant doesn't feel completely right without the cigarette smoke swirling, French speaking folks who are impossibly chic and put together. Floriole is in Lincoln Park and the little piece of Webster Avenue that the restaurant occupies, feels somewhat French. Just replace the cigarette smoke and French dialogue with North Face jackets and $700 baby strollers.
|Ham and Gruyère Croissant|
|View from the open front of the restaurant|