Sandra Holl says that although her Paris-born husband Matthieu may not be a trained chef, his palate for pastry makes her a better baker. We can say merci to both Sandra and Matthieu at Floriole, the Lincoln Park cafe and bakery they opened in 2010. They got their start five years earlier, selling Sandra’s now-signature rustic seasonal galettes at Green City Market, made with fruits and vegetables from fellow vendors. Already beloved, the freeform pies are really special when studded with ruby red raspberries from Sandra’s mother’s garden, or harvested from the rooftop beds. Organic flour is used in her bread, pastries, and cookies, which surprises some stagiaires. But Sandra says part of giving back means taking the time to explain the importance of ingredients, including why they don’t make pastry cream from a powdered mix, and providing a good, enriching experience for the next generation of bakers. The bakery’s floor-to-ceiling front windows open completely in good weather, serving sandwiches, salads, and house-made yogurt, and there is cafe seating in back plus a handful of sidewalk tables. Floriole also hosts occasional collaborative dinners where dietary restrictions are accommodated—happily.
Photo: Facebook/Cafe Floriole Cafe & Bakery