September 10, 2006

Read Up and Dine Out: Rolf's Patisserie

Rolf's Patisserie
4343 W Touhy Ave
(847) 982-9400

Rolf's pastries go great with Laurie Keller's Arnie the Doughnut. Keller's vibrant artwork and silly stories are always a hit in our house. As for Rolf's, despite being so close to home, this is the first time we ventured in.

We stopped in out of desperation on a recent rainy day after a cancelled playdate. Our four year-old friend Miss L. joined us for pastries and, according to her mom, she talked about Rolf's all week long. Due to their wide selection of mini-pastries, the kids were able to taste-test several items.

Here's what our trainwreck of a review team had to say:

"Everything here looks good, but some things are like optical illusions because you see it and it looks super-good then you try it and you're like, 'this doesn't taste so good.' Like the puffy, delicate, sphere-like cream puffs that had an unexpected banana flavor." (The fruit tart also failed to live up to its promise.)

My tiny trio loved the the mini-cupcakes and were big fans of the eclairs. "They have chocolate on top, crust on the bottom and cream inside. The cream was really good...exquisite ." (This after I pressed for more adjectives, BTW).

The croissant, "a kind of buttery bread," was also a hit. Smartypants says it's the best croissant he's ever had. "It was the most buttery, finger-lickin' good. [The croissants] looked so shiny and slippery like they could be used as ice skates." (This is a good thing, apparently.)

Rolf's is a tasty and sophisticated alternative to the now-ubiquitous $15 Costco cake. Indeed, I heard they made the wedding cake for an "Oprah" show about weddings, and Miss L was thrilled to see an enormous 1/2 decorated wedding cake when she peeked into their storage fridge.

Rolf's is also a pleasant and quiet (when we're not there) place to grab a morning treat- they offer free coffee if you dine-in.

Bottom line: thumbs-up to both Rolf and Laurie Keller. Next time you're hosting a brunch for the really special people in your life, be sure to invite Rolf's. Invite Laurie, too. Wouldn't that be so cool if she showed up?

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