Ginger, blueberry, chocolate-toffee, and cinnamon scones; passion-fruit tart; lemon kiss cookie
We found the best ginger scone ever, and we weren’t even looking—just out for a quiet breakfast in some innocuous corner of the world, and 22-seat Fraîche seemed a likely spot. It’s an order-at-the-counter, pick-up-your-silverware storefront with a chalkboard menu, where cheerful young servers deliver surprisingly sophisticated plates of French toast (stuffed with almond cream) and gussied-up egg dishes to happy brunchers. But Fraîche is also a bakery, offering a few pastries in a tiny case. So we got a few pastries: a passion-fruit tart, a lemon kiss cookie, a ginger scone. The tart was creamy and puckery; the lemon kiss melted away as a buttery cookie should; the scone made us swoon. Crumbly but moist, tender but beautifully crusted, barely sweet and shot through with shivery chunks of candied ginger. Perfection. 815 Noyes St., Evanston; 847-475-5467.
Photograph: Anna Knott