Monday, April 03, 2006

Pastry Review

We haven't had a review in a while so here's a review of some Pastries by Randolph. I've heard many good things about Pastries by Randolph. They've had a reputation in the area for making mind-blowing desserts. My uncle had them make his wedding cake. Therefore, I was excited that the Timily's not only wanted to go with us to Dim Sum at China Garden in Rosslyn, but wantedto make sure we got some pastries at Randolph's. Last time we tried me missed their 1:00 pm Sunday closing by seconds. This time we were getting the pastries BEFORE going to Dim Sum.

As all of you know, Sunday was one of those days that makes you grateful for living in DC. It was the perfect blend of slightly nippy air with bright sunshine and tress in full bloom. We got to Pastries by Randolph by 11:15 am and already they were all out of their famous hot cross buns. J and I went all out and got two pastries each. He got a capucinno mousse cake and the huge rum ball (covered in chocolate sprinkles). I got the fruit pavlova and the strawberry napoleon. The Timily's exerted more control than us and got the chocolate flower pot and the chocolate Easter Egg.

After dim sum, we retired to the Timily's backyard where we reveled in the glory that was spring in DC. Their garden was filled with all sorts of daffodils and camelias. It was the perfect place ot eat dessert. After our stomachs had a chance to settle we tasted each other's desserts like we were eating dim sum.

Me being a more of a fruit and whipped cream type of person, I adored the napoleon which was really spring on a fork. The strawberries had an intense fragrance of strawberries with the taste being tart enough to balance the sweetness of the vanilla pastry cream. The puff pastry sheets retained their buttery flakiness despite the moisture from the pastry cream and strawberries. This was a hard dish to eat iwth crumbs flying all over. It was also hard to share because of the flakiness of the pastry but there's no denying the flavor. Also part of the whipped/fruit combo was the pavlova. While the flavor has that light/airy/fresh combination I so love, Randolph's went overboard on the whipped cream and I wished for more meringue to balance it out. J being a coffee/chocolate person, adored his capuccino mousse cake with little coffe cookies on the side. It was very intensely coffee flavor with the kind of bitterness you find if dark chocolate. The rum ball was more like a really big truffle and had that same intense richness. I'm not a huge fan of dense chocolate desserts, so I only had a taste. If you are a fan of such things, this is your dessert. I did love the flower pot that was made of chocolate and filled with a dab of raspberry mousse that had the flavor of pure raspberries with the texture of mousse and a wonderful chocolate mousse. Compared to the strong flavors of the other desserts, the egg was rather meh. It was simply a pound cake in the shape of an egg with a chocolate ganache on it. While it taste fine, it wasn't special. Overall, Randolph's is the kind of bakery Washington needs more of. It's unabashedly a bakery, not wanting to dab into prepared meals or dips or cheeses. That means it's focus on baking produces things that really taste like themselves whether that be a mousse, a ganache, or a cupcake. I'd also add that the care that Randolphs gives towards dessert presentation is spectacular. These items really looked too good to eat.

Because of the priciness of the desserts, I am grateful Randolph's is not within walking distance of our place otherwise we'd be 20 pounds heavier and broke.


Stef said...

I've not heard of Randolph's! Where is this place?!?

I'm so over Cakelove. Brunette and Scotte and I have had intense discussions about their overratedness.

If you ever have a chance to have Ridgewell's do catering, get their flower pot dessert. It's this amazing chocolate mousse thing in an actual terra cotta flowerpot. We had it for an Inauguration event last year. Unfortunately, it was the "Yellow Rose of Texas" but it was dang tasty anyway!

DC Food Blog said...

The address is 4500 Lee Hwy. It's a five minute drive from Rosslyn. As we don't have a car, could give directions.

culocho said...

I used to live in an apartment behind that shoppping center. I'd walk to Crisp & Juicy for the best chicken ever, then pick up a bottle of wine at Arrowine, and finish at Pastries by Randolph. Oh, how I miss that neighborhood.

As for directions, take Lee Hwy out of Rosslyn. The road will split right after the Cherrydale Fire Dept at the Toyota dealership. Go left, up the hill! The road will become one-way right at the corner of the bakery. Hang left and park.

Anonymous said...

Pastries by Randolph is truly outrageously good. Every taste is perfect, the textures wonderful and the appearance beautiful. You can also find some tasty treats a little fruther down Lee Hwy at the Heidelburg Bakery.

Anonymous said...

You can place an order for the hot cross buns. They're about $6.50 for a half dozen.

Anonymous said...

I had my wedding cake done by Pastries by Randolph. It was elegant and decadent. The cake was a multi-tier combination white and dark chocolate mousse, with delicate white chocolate shavings. After the reception we asked the hotel to please store the rest of the cake and top in their refrigerator. The cake was so wonderful the hotel staff ate our cake (thankfully leaving the top).