Jump to content

Tout de Sweet, Pastry Chef Jerome Colin on Woodmont Avenue in Bethesda


Recommended Posts

Tout de Sweet opened about a month ago, in the row of stores across Woodmont Ave from BGR. It's a worthy contender in the search for DC's best macaron. Chef Colin's version retains a bit more moisture than the ones from Praline, which makes them slightly dense, but at the same time very tender and delicate. The outer crust of each cookie is a fragile shell, which leads me to believe that you simply must have these very very fresh.

And fresh they are; instead of producing a wide range of flavors to have on hand, he makes only five or six types each morning, rotating the selection at whim. The dollop of cream between the halves is easily the freshest I've had in town. His almond croissant is marvelous too; well-browned, flaky, and encrusted with thick sliced almonds and a judicious ribbon of almond paste.

You must try these desserts in part because they do not offer any savory lunch or breakfast items, and I fear for the survivability of a dessert-only operation in that neighborhood. The prices for his baked items (and good coffee) are surprisingly reasonable - $1.50 for a macaron, $4ish for a beautifully architected mousse - so much so that it should be a crime to queue at any Starbuck's within walking distance.

post-710-0-44470500-1301419046_thumb.jpg

hazelnut, lemon macarons; almond croissant

There is also a menu of cakes made to order; he'd prefer three days' advance notice. Alas, no canelés nor any breads here...I'll still have to hit St-Michel in Rockville for those.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tried their plain croissant -- really good. I only wished these were ever so slightly darker, but that is just me and my taste. Also tried the chocolate variant, was good, but not as good as the plain. Their complex confections look and sound wonderful. Might have to try them someday.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went in last weekend and picked up almond croissants and a few macaroons. I thought the croissants were perfect, crispy but not dry and perfectly sized for one person rather than being excessively large. I couldn't believe they were only $2.75. Tout de sweet would be dangerous for me if I still lived in the neighborhood.

I accidentally crushed the macaroons in my purse so I can not give a reliable review on texture but the hazelnut and pistachio were very tasty.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I liked the macarons. I loved my blueberry muffin. It had a crunchy top from seemingly being brushed with butter before baking and then dusted with powdered sugar. The soft body contained all the small blueberries, which were an afterthought following that muffin top. If I keep coming back here, I'm going to develop a muffin top of my own.

Pax,

Brian

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just swung by there this morning and I absolutely love it. Their iced latte is strong but without the bitter taste. The macaron looks about the same size at the ones at Cacao but it's actually bigger. I'm not sure if the cookie is thicker or just have more cream. The lemon macaron was delicious. Looking forward to trying the hazelnut and pistachio macaron and almond croissant later this morning.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Stopped in today for the first time. Liked it quite a bit but think they're going to have to broaden their offerings if they're going to stick around long term.

...It's a worthy contender in the search for DC's best macaron. Chef Colin's version retains a bit more moisture than the ones from Praline, which makes them slightly dense, but at the same time very tender and delicate. The outer crust of each cookie is a fragile shell, which leads me to believe that you simply must have these very very fresh.

And fresh they are; instead of producing a wide range of flavors to have on hand, he makes only five or six types each morning, rotating the selection at whim. The dollop of cream between the halves is easily the freshest I've had in town. His almond croissant is marvelous too; well-browned, flaky, and encrusted with thick sliced almonds and a judicious ribbon of almond paste.

You must try these desserts in part because they do not offer any savory lunch or breakfast items, and I fear for the survivability of a dessert-only operation in that neighborhood. The prices for his baked items (and good coffee) are surprisingly reasonable - $1.50 for a macaron, $4ish for a beautifully architected mousse - so much so that it should be a crime to queue at any Starbuck's within walking distance.

Totally aligns with my own experience. I only had a couple of macaroons but they were the best I've had in our area. Also, the pastries and cakes looked pretty fab but there were only 5 or so in the case at 2 or 3pm today; probably not enough selection for many. As for the "crime" of going to SBUX across the street, totally agree based on coffee and baked goods quality (and staff niceness) but can see them also losing some biz to those who want a place to sit, sip, talk and enjoy; or god-forbid, open a laptop or read the paper on an ipad. They have only 3 or so counter seats. I really hope they introduce some additional items--breads and limited savories are the most obvious. Bethesda can and, I think would, support a broadened business.

I just swung by there this morning and I absolutely love it. Their iced latte is strong but without the bitter taste. The macaron looks about the same size at the ones at Cacao but it's actually bigger. I'm not sure if the cookie is thicker or just have more cream.

I'm a big Cacao fan (especially the Cleveland Park location). Cacao CP offers a wide range of quality chocolates in addition to the pastries and quality sandwiches, salads and baguettes. The location on Bethesda Lane only offers pastries and chocolates because they weren't allowed to introduce lunch items in competition with the Le Pain Quotidien chain across the alley. Bit of odd regulation there. And Chef Jacques Polain and Vili (who own Cacao) are fantastic people. All said, Tout de Sweet's macaroons are better IMHO. Was really impressed with them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They have added cupcakes, which look gorgeous and cost $2.75 for a quite large, beautifully decorated little cake. Also featured regularly are a variety of quatre-quarts, poundcakes, that are excellent and a steal at $6.50 each.

My latte & croissant yesterday were delicious, as usual.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great news -- I love this place!!  Lack of seating has typically made it a takeout destination for me.

Agree that the poundcakes are a steal (one of my favorite weekend breakfast vices) and with the recommendation of TdS as a birthday cake source.  My daughter and I share a birthday and were delighted to find a cake (a custom variation on Black Forest with raspberries and framboise replacing cherries and kirsch) that neither of us consider a  compromise and that I don't have to bake myself (e,g. Pierre Herme's Reine de Saba).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, not exactly.  They make "loaf" cakes -- orange or lemon poppyseed, raspberry, strawberry.  They're about twice as large (6 slices) as the carrot-maple-pecan one I bought at Bread Furst last week and very tasty.  The orange cake (with a candlied orange slice on top) is great with fresh blackberries.

They're pre-wrapped in the short part of the counter at the back near the register.  One flavor per day, I think -- I don't remember ever having a choice.  I don't know if there's any pattern/schedule.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I got one of their chocolate cupcakes topped with chocolate icing today, and fresh (regular) coffee (I think it is still Peet's). Coffee good.  The cupcake was pretty amazing.

Locally, though I have not been in a couple of years, is Georgetown Cupcake. GC makes great icing, and decent cake. GC's icing tends to be fairly to very dense, but packed with great flavor.

Tout de Sweet makes great cake. The cake balances the air/cake/moistness balance perfectly. This is what cupcake cake should be! The top part of the cake is slightly stiffer than the bottom, of course, to allow for proper installation of icing. Oh and the icing - it is tremendous. TdS's icing is more fluid and alive than GC's icing, and packed with even more flavor if you can imagine - it was revelatory.  This was a cupcake where it was all chocolate - chocolate cake and chocolate icing. I am a sucker for excellent chocolate and this cupcake truly delivered. It was perfect for 'second breakfast' today.

The thing is, TdS is horrifying close to my office and I could die in less than a year from overconsumption of cupcakes.

[separately, I think this might be my first trip back there since they expanded the space. The have maybe 20 seats total now. I saw they have a lot of delicious looking goodies there, including various pastry (chocolate almond croissant! Loaf-like bread 'pudding' (looks more like pound cake!) and expanded higher end pastries in the other case. Even saw some cookies). Not sure if they do wifi, but it is a pleasant space to hang out and indulge if you want to.]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...