I checked out the new french patisserie Vanille that was reviewed last week in the Tribune. From what little I sampled, this place has terrific potential. The chefs previously worked at Payard in New York, which is awesome. They have brought the same quality here to Chicago.
Since I was dining alone tonight I thought I would try 1 dessert. However, I decided to make the supreme sacrifice and take one for the Chowhounds and get an extra cake, damn the calories. Nothing like pushing the envelope, or the mousse as the case may be.
Unfortunately, as I was about to pay I spotted some awful good looking truffles in another display case. Since I was about to hit the tennis court and wouldn't be eating for another 4 hours, I figured I better get my sugar level up. I tried a chocolate banana truffle which was to die for and a coconut truffle. I'd swear that first truffle was filled with a really nice ripe banana surrounded by a silky dark chocolate. Ethereal. The coconut was very good but tasted like an elevated Mounds bar. The filling was similar but the dark chocolate coating was much better.
The first dessert was a St. Lucia cake and was about as good a dessert as you'll find in any restaurant. The base was a dense coconut cake, surrounded and topped with what they call exotic cream(a smooth, light coconut meringue?), and topped with a passion fruit sauce. It was filled with some wonderful sweetened pineapple(not Dole's). Wow!
I was so focused on that first cake that I didn't get a good descriptor for the other cake, which I think was called an Earl Grey cake. It's got a yellow cake bottom with a layer of Earl Grey jam(?) and some kind of custard on top of that-I think banana. It's surrounded and topped with a mousse, very light. The whole cake is then surrounded by paper thin white chocolate. The cakes are $4.75. There were also a bunch of tartlets, which will be sampled during another visit. They told me they would soon be baking bread. Please try this place-it may be a treasure in the making.
Vanille Patisserie, 2229 N. Clybourn Ave., 773-868-4574.
http://www.chicagotribune.com/feature..., I don't know how to make this a clickable link)