An elegant dessert bar trying to find an anchor amidst multiple soft desserts.
The only thing we love more than dessert is… dessert in plural. Desserts. Multi-courses. We have had the opportunity, and certainly privilege, to have been able to sample dessert-only experiences across the world. The latest dessert bar to open in NYC a few months ago — Marble Dessert Bar — offers two menus, a $35 per person menu and a $75 per person menu. The latter avails you to smaller versions of all five seasonally-changing desserts on offer, and is perfect for the indecisive dessert addict. Similar to the recently (sadly) shuttered Patisserie Chanson’s Dessert Bar, Marble Dessert Bar is a dedicated dessert bar, opening in the mid-afternoon to late evenings on most days.
On our visit to Marble Dessert Bar one wintry weekend, the $75 per person “dessert tasting” menu started with an amuse bouche, a cremeaux-like creation with flavour tones of which we cannot recall. The first course — the “Pineapple, Apple, Basil, Lemon, Olive Oil” — was the most memorable of five courses served. Although the pineapple component of this dessert was in fact, a tiny cube of bruleed pineapple, the other components stole the show with their refreshing flavours and textures of sorbet, granita and jelly. The second course of “Fuji Apple, High Mountain Oolong, Maple” evoked the autumn season. Mirroring the concentric circles of frosted glass on which it was plated, the caramelized apple was presented here as a pretty swirl. We felt that this course required some texture crunch or crisp to give it an edge, though.
Reminding us of Cosme’s famous husked meringue dessert, Marble’s “Corn, Soba Cha, Milk” third course was perhaps our second favourite course of the dessert tasting. As a “savoury dessert” midpoint, it featured a fluffy spoonful of lightly-flavoured corn sorbet-cream atop crunchy pebbles. The fourth course featuring “Japanese Purple Potato, Fresh Cream, Longan” was perhaps, the most “Instagrammable” dessert. Beautifully plated, it resembled a glacier lake pooling between crystalline glass mountains. The tones of ube or “purple potato” here however, required more sensitive tastebuds than ours to detect. The fifth course of “Dulcey Chocolate, Banana, Yuzu” left us a little polarized as to compatibility – the chocolate and yuzu acted as ideal counter-weights to each other, but the quenelle of banana, we scooped that aside.
The dessert tasting ended with yet another “soft dessert” as a palate cleanser, and an elevated marbled platter displaying a trio of petit fours — a mini alfajore, a matcha chocolate circle, and a meringue tartlet.
In playing on both Eastern and Western flavours, Marble reminds us of Chikalicious and Patisserie Fouet, albeit at a price range more expensive and in a venue more elegant. Upon entering, it certainly stuns with its namesake countertop, gleaming rose brass pendulums, and a cosy date-night ambience. As for the dessert offerings though, our dessert tasting experience was akin to a butterfly’s journey, where we fluttered our way across what was essentially, seven spoonfuls of “soft desserts” (ice cream, sorbet or cream). As such, Recolte uptown remains our favourite dessert bar in NYC. Perhaps, if you were in the downtown vicinity one evening, heading to Marble for the $35pp singular course option (not the $75pp dessert tasting option that we had), and ordering the “Pineapple” or the “Corn” plated dessert directly would perhaps make for quite an appealing proposition. We would revisit again for that, but currently, Marble is still a nascent dessert dream, not yet fully realized.
Dessert adventure checklist
- ☑ Dessert destination: Marble Dessert Bar, 27 Bedford Street, West Village, Manhattan.
- ☑ Budget: $$$-$$$$ ($75 pp + tip/tax for the 5-course dessert tasting, or $35 pp + tip/tax for the singular course, both options with amuse bouche, palate cleanser and petit trois).
- ☑ Sweet irresistibles: Dessert degustation.
- ☑ Must-eat: The “Pineapple – Apple – Basil – Lemon – Olive Oil”.
- ☑ The short and sweet story: An elegant dessert bar trying to find an anchor amidst multiple soft desserts.