Sunday, May 31, 2009


Several times I've been invited to dessert bars. And several times I've been disappointed. Mostly by Serendipity 3. But that's another story in and of itself. Most of the time, I can't get myself to eat that much dessert. Don't get me wrong, I like sweets. But only if they're properly done. And also, I'm more fond of lighter yet still delicious desserts. Heavy, gut busting "American" desserts do not amaze me. Yeah, I'm looking at you Paula Deen. On a recent visit, I was convinced by both Gourmet Mandu and Chikalicious to rethink this whole dessert bar thing. I was pleasantly surprised. And I loved it! First, the decor. Simple, modern, clean, small. I liked it. Nothing to stray you from the food. We sat at the bar where the dessert chefs work. I love that idea! Usually, I've seen regular chefs work. But not dessert chefs. What a treat! The menu is prix fixe at $12 per person. You get an amuse, a choice of entree, and petit fours. That's a decent price for 3 desserts. We started with yogurt panna cotta in carrot/ginger soup. Interesting when I first heard the description. Delicious when I tasted it! The panna cotta was slightly tangy being made from yogurt. And the carrot/ginger soup cut the creaminess. The ginger was ever so lightly present. Next, I ordered the Fromage Blanc Island Cheesecake. Before I ordered, I had some questions. I asked if it were thick and dense like a traditional NY Cheesecake. Of course not! The chef told me that it was light, airy, and completely delicious! I was sold. After tasting this baby, I was glad I picked it. It was everything that the chef described and more. It was almost like eating something along the lines of whipped cream and ice cream. The flavor was so rich and creamy. But the consistency was so light, I couldn't believe it. It was so good. I didn't have a problem eating the whole thing. My friend ordered the White Chocolate Mousse with Basil sorbet. I had a taste of hers and it was good as well. The basil ice cream really cut the creaminess of the mousse. And the wafers added some crunch to the texture of the dish. Those little black things? Those are basil seeds. To end the meal, our petit fours consisted of toasted coconut marshmallows, chocolate truffles, and some kind of berry gelee (it had a very long French name that I cannot remember). The marshmallows were homemade. You can tell. So soft. And the coconut gave it that extra umph. The gelee were sweet and slighty tangy. Good as any would be. And the truffles were sweet with a slight bitterness from the cocoa powder on the outside. Chikalicious was so good! I was very happy from that meal. I am thankful for Gourmet Mandu for bringing me. And thankful for the chefs for making such wondering things. Their service was great and it seemed as though they enjoyed their jobs. This is the type of dessert I can happily handle consistently. It's sweet yet light. Several courses didn't make me want to double over. Yes, it was that good. I really need to rethink this whole dessert bar thing.

203 East 10th Street
New York, NY 10003
(212) 995-9511

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