Long-time readers of this dessert blog will know that we have moaned on quite a few previous occasions that many a restaurant in New York, overwhelmingly fail…and fail tremendously… at executing memorable dessert epilogues to an otherwise wonderful meal. An uninspired plate of cookies, a stale slice of cake or a careless plop of ice cream does not constitute a proper dessert in a restaurant. It’s a tragedy that leaves these Dessert Correspondents especially, in a bamboozled state. Why the anti-climax?! 😦 Now that NYC’s restaurant scene has fully re-opened, we are resuming our mission to seek out the NYC restaurants who do afford more considered attention to the dessert menu. In this volume, we review desserts from two recent Michelin star arrivals to the NYC restaurant scene.
- Dessert destination: Vestry, Soho/Tribeca, Manhattan.
- Budget: $$$ ($15 per dessert).
- Short and sweet story: A new entrant to NYC’s Michelin star listings, Vestry was one of the first proper restaurants we visited this summer. Its modern Japanese-accented fare is ideal summer season food, light but flavourful. The energetic creativity in the savoury offerings is also found in the dessert menu, of which there are just two options. Playing on the trompe-loeil dessert trend, the “Cheesecake” ($15) cleverly resembles a triangular of cheese, with a mouse made of apple puree sniffling at its edge. Similarly, the “Navel Orange” ($15) is an explosive burst of citrus tang, erring towards grapefruit-like tones.
Manresa @ Intersect’s desserts
- Dessert destination: Intersect by Lexus, Chelsea, Manhattan.
- Budget: $$$ ($17 a dessert; roughly $65 for three dessert courses).
- Short and sweet story: Offering a particular vision of a luxurious lifestyle, Intersect heralds the future of dining. It’s a space where leading restaurants from around the world showcase their art for a limited time. This summer, California’s three Michelin star, Manresa, is in residence. Of four desserts on offer, we sampled three, as a three-course meal. 😀 As our first dessert course, the “Lemon Verbena Leaf Custard” ($17) was the least interesting sounding dessert on the menu. It however, turned out to be our favourite dessert of the evening. A soft custard tinged with a slightly salty lemon base, was juxtaposed against the zing of grapefruit sorbet and the crunch of a pretzel-shaped meringue. The second course was the “Salted Butter Icecream” ($17) sitting on a bed of diced rhubarb, crushed buttery biscuits, and lemon granita. Mix it all up, and that was one helluva of textural party. As an epilogue, the “Chocolate Crescent” ($17) was beautiful. A dulce de leche-like syrup filled the space between an orb of chocolate ice cream and a chocolate mousse-like cake with slight hazelnut tones. Reminding us very much of a celestial-themed afternoon tea in London just a few years ago (see our review here), it was the perfect farewell, goodnight to a memorable evening of desserts.