Dessert tasting menus have been a thing in cities like New York and Chicago for a while now. While we can't yet compare Baltimore's food scene to either of those foodie destinations, it's nice to see interesting new trends hit our area. Is Baltimore ready? I'd like to think so. Especially after sampling the creations of the new pastry chef at the Four Seasons Baltimore, Dyan Ng. Chef Ng wanted to introduce her talents to the area via a five-course dessert tasting, and Mr Minx and I were thrilled to participate.
Chef Ng's resume includes nine years in Las Vegas where she was pastry chef de cuisine for all of the restaurants at Caesar's Palace. Currently, she's responsible for desserts at both Wit & Wisdom and Pabu, plus the sweet treats at Lamill Coffee. For our dessert tasting, she prepared five courses, each of which were paired with an appropriate alcoholic beverage chosen by one of the restaurant's sommeliers.
|Textures of Apple | fresh green apple sorbet, chartreuse compressed apples,
caramelized apples, apple puree, apple chips, finger lime zest,
paired with Bonny Doon Querry Cider
|Lemon | meyer lemon cream, avocado sherbet, delicate meringue,
seared grapefruit, marcona almonds, browned milk solids, streusel,
fleur de sel, micro cilantro, meyer lemon zest,
paired with Ordonez "Victoria" Moscatel
The fourth course was a risotto made with chocolate and chunks of banana. On top was a pile of shaved frozen foie gras, and the whole was seasoned with truffle salt and truffle oil. Despite the savory elements, there was no mistaking this dish for anything but a dessert. Think of it as a marriage between rice pudding and chocolate pudding. But with shaved foie on top.
|Risotto | chocolate, foie gras, black truffle oil, black truffle Maldon salt,
banana, vanilla broth, Acquerello rice,
paired with Broadbent 1997 Port
Our fifth course was a "cheese course," that included lightly caramelized tomato "marmalade," along with a lovely tomato water gelée, blue cheese ice cream, and a goat cheese foam. Blue cheese ice cream! Fabulous.
|Tomato | tomato marmalade, tomato water gelee, tomato pulp,
blue cheese ice cream, Barden blue cheese, goat cheese foam,
paired with Macarini Barolo Chinato
And just when we thought we were done, as the menu listed only five courses, we were brought a large sandwich cookie comprising creamy chocolate ganache and fresh raspberries between two chewy wafers that were texturally somewhere between a macaron and an almond cookie. (These babies are available at Lamill.) It was wonderful, but we were stuffed. And you know, it didn't seem like we had just eaten five desserts. Each course was balanced, and none were overly-sweet. My favorite was the cheese course, with the olive and white chocolate coming in second. Mr Minx was a fan of the risotto. Both of us were simply blown away by Chef Ng's creativity, and the seriousness of her playfulness (if that's a thing). After eating our way around the city for many years now, our palates were ready for a multi-course dessert tasting.
Is yours? I'm thinking yes.
Posted on Minxeats.com.