My wife Jun is an avid sweet tooth who doesn’t shy away from anything resembling chocolates, cookies, candies and ice cream. Before we were together, I used to not really eat sweet things (although I did use to indulge on ice creams and cookies all the time in my childhood) during my adulthood unless I was sampling a dessert or two at a restaurant as part of my culinary journey. Now, after dinner at home we would just snatch something out of Jun’s “sweet cabinet” to satisfy our craving for sweetness. When I heard of a relatively new bakery/café announcing its opening of a dessert bar showcasing multi-course dessert tasting menus (currently at $68 per person for six courses), I knew Jun would be hooked into this experience and took her to the subterranean Dessert Bar during the Thanksgiving weekend. After our experience, Jun confessed that because she is so partial to anything that tastes sweet, she can’t objectively give a score to the tasting menu at the Dessert Bar. For me, it was one of the best tasting experiences I’ve had this year! Patisserie Chanson’s kitchen brings together some truly unique and delicious desserts.
When I saw that the Dessert Bar was bringing out some savory bites so whet our appetite for sweets, I instantly knew they were not fooling around and are really trying to make sure the dining guests enjoy the course in full. Then came the first course of olive oil ice cream with eucalyptus below with smoke coming out from the entire dish; it was a sensational one that I just couldn’t easily forget. How about a combination of yuzu ice cream and honey candy? When Jun and I were children in Korea, we used to love this street candy snack called ppopgi (made by melting a combination of sugar and baking soda). The honey candy gave us the similar textural sensation but even more delightful in flavor! PB&J (the one we had used raspberry jam) in a jar was a playful dish that we really enjoyed too for the complexity of flavor coming from different ingredients that was more subtle than an average PB&J.
My favorite dish of the night has to be the miso pudding with pink grapefruit ice cream. What truly distinguished the experience at the Dessert Bar is the fact that the kitchen wasn’t afraid to experiment with different flavors, even on the savory side. The earthy feel of miso worked so beautifully with the refreshing grapefruit flavor that I lamented there wasn’t another exact same dish in front of me. The black sesame “dumpling” in yuzu broth was also quite wonderful, a bite packed with so much delightful flavor. For the last course, we had a pear in flame thanks to liquor syrups being poured on top of it. I thought it was another winner, although Jun, who prefers to eat fruit as is, wasn’t exactly sold. Only after we were served a cute petit four of gummy bears with flavors from various alcoholic drinks did we wake up from this blissful experience.
There is only a single bar at the space that fix around 12 people so I suggest booking in advance online as much as possible. There is a full bar with some creative cocktail selections and wines, mostly on the sweeter side than I would normally drink, to complement your tasting experience (you can also go all-in for drink pairing for additional $50 or so per person). I wished the lighting were a little brighter (as you will see, the photos didn’t come out exactly great and didn’t fully showcase the brilliance of the kitchen’s inventive creations), but otherwise the intimate space with friendly services was another plus to our experience. If you have been tired with tasting menu experiences at New York (not an uncommon phenomenon) and are looking for a fresh air for change, I highly recommend the Dessert Bar. You won’t look at the desserts the same way afterwards.
- Creativity: 9.5/10
- Execution: 9.5/10
- Ingredients: 9.0/10
- Flavor: 9.5/10
- Texture: 8.5/10
- Value: 8.5/10
Address: 20 West 23rd Street, New York, NY 10010
Telephone: (929) 423-8880