Blue Water Grill – A “Caper” Caper, or, Why are there two capers in my dessert?

Friday, October 23rd, 2009 | Restaurants | 2 Comments

This past Saturday, I went to Blue Water Grill for a friend’s baby shower.  I was pretty excited because I’d never been there before, and I heard their fish dishes are delish.  It turns out the crush and noise level one experiences there during the brunch rush is not so appetizing.  Neither was my “Warm Chocolate Molten Cake w/ Bittersweet Chocolate Crisp and Malt Crunch Ice Cream.”

I don’t know why I always fall for the molten chocolate cake thing.  It’s usually a disappointment– with dry, tasteless crusts, and pudding-like, gelatinous insides.  It’s like people think if the words “molten” and “chocolate” are put together, all will be right with the world.  This one certainly fell into that slot, but with the addition of bland, Breyer’s-like ice cream and a weird green gel squirted along the plate’s perimeter.  Neither myself nor my companion could place the gel’s flavor– it really tasted like those cheap colored frosting gels you decorate cookies with when you’re five years old.  I also noticed a couple things I swore looked like capers lining the plate atop the gel.  “What could they be?” I thought.   “Cardamom pods, perhaps?  Hmm, but no one else who ordered this cake has those things on their plate.  But they can’t possibly be capers, because that would be so disgusting.”  Well, it turns out they were capers, in all of their salty, pickley glory… and I was turned off of dessert for the rest of the day.

(Sorry no pics, but I felt it would be disrespectful to photograph my interloping capers as the baby momma’s momma had very kindly treated us to the brunch, and she was sitting right next to me.)

WD-50 – A Dessert Blogger’s Paradise

Friday, October 16th, 2009 | Fine Dining, Restaurants | 2 Comments

At the suggestion of Pastry Chef Chavigny of Daniel and a generous birthday gift from my brother, the next stop on my explorations was WD-50, a restaurant known for its use of weirdo ingredients and au courant culinary tools like liquid nitrogen (for flash freezing), hydrocolloids (or various “gums” for changing the consistencies of liquids), and dehydrators.  Leading the charge in the pastry kitchen is Chef Alex Stupak, formerly of Alinea in Chicago, another major player in the world of cutting-edge cookery.

For just $38, you can get your own 3-course dessert tasting.  Since I was with a friend, I asked our waiter whether Chef Stupak would condescend to give us 3 different desserts each, so that we could try a total of 6.  We waited on tenterhooks for him to return from the kitchen with the verdict… which was Yes– huzzah!

Every plate was like a playground for the senses and also a puzzle… for my mind.  I hardly knew where to start with each one.  Some dishes had delicious elements all around– you could enjoy each one alone, or combine them with others.  Other dishes were truly deconstructed desserts, where each element alone tasted either bland or downright nasty, but when combined with others created a perfect balance of sweet, bitter, salty, etc.  Here are some observations, which you should follow along with the fine pics above, as this can get a mite complicated.

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Bouley Bakery / Caf̩ РThe Ultimate Lunch Option [NOW CLOSED]

Friday, October 2nd, 2009 | bakeries, Restaurants | 3 Comments

If you work in or near Tribeca, please don’t read this post.  If you do, and you gain a ton of weight as a result, then don’t say I didn’t warn you.

To get an idea of how good the food is here, just imagine actually eating at Bouley, the restaurant, but instead of having waiters serve you, you get it yourself.  To call it a buffet, however, would call to mind– very inaccurately– memories of, say, Ponderosa.  I mean, this place has duck à l’orange and the most decadent croques monsieurs of your life, for pete’s sake!  You get to take your spoils into a fancy-pants dining room.  Sure, the plush seating is somewhat stained and grotty, but what do you expect?  I just like the fact that they trust the public to keep the mess in check.  Plus, they’ve got real silverware and washable plastic water cups all ready for you, so yay for the environment.  They’re only open until 8:30pm, and they’re not open on Saturdays, which makes me wonder if they’re worried people will decide to save some major dough and come here instead of Bouley.  It’s really that good.

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Daniel – The Inaugural Post

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009 | Fine Dining, Restaurants | 2 Comments

What better way to kick-off a dessert blog than to go to one of the best restaurants in all of NYC– Daniel?  I didn’t know it was even possible to make a reservation for dessert only, since there’s no way I could afford to eat there, but Daniel is very accommodating and lets you sit in the Lounge.  We decided to eat dinner in the form of sandwiches from Defonte’s new Manhattan outpost, and, enjoying the marked contrast, we sat down to dine in luxury.  The desserts were delish, and we had a wonderfully unexpected adventure afterwards that made me conclude I may be on-track with this whole food blogging thing.
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