I SPY: First Memories

Oct 20, 2015

Ever win the lottery?  It felt like I did scoring tickets for Dominique Ansel's dessert tasting…7 weeks ago!  Yup, I patiently waited over a month and a half to finally experience last Sunday this one of a kind event U.P. that stands for Unlimited Possibilities.  Crazy?  YES.

When you arrive they bring the whole group upstairs to the production kitchen all at the same time.  There is a secret knock the host does on the door before the kitchen door will open!  HA.  Once inside everyone stands against the back wall and they drop the suspended long table from the ceiling, attach legs, and everyone gathers around the table in the middle of the kitchen.  To begin with I thought this was a genius concept!  Perfect for NYC tiny apartments that have no room for a dining table, but if you need one to entertain guests you could easily drop one from the ceiling into the middle of your living room.  Pretty cool right?

The theme for the tasting menu is all about your first memories, that brings your back to your childhood and different stages in life.  In an intimate and casual setting, along with talented Chef Kary Logue and her team we were seated in their presence as they prepared each plate.  Open discussion flowed through out the night, questions were encouraged, they explained the thought, ingredients and process of each dish as we were served, and we got to know our neighbors pretty well!  It was a fun night.

First up we were told that we had to eat our veggies first.  Did your mother ever tell you that?  I know I have said that on occasion to my kids!  Himalayan salt sprinkled butter, served with micro veggies: Carrots, Radishes and Cucamelon were laid out.  The most interesting was the Cucamelon, a hybrid between a cucumber and melon.  I've got to try and find this in our local supermarkets!  

Then the eight courses began!  The most beautifully plated food I've ever eaten that has had so much thought go into every single detail.  Not only did it look too pretty to eat but it also evoked every other sense of your body, from sight, to taste, to smell, to feel.

Sweet pea ice cream, with carrot cake reminded you of baby food and the meringue question marks to pop what was your first word.

The bowl it was served in was either smooth, or pebbly rough to resemble a beard!  The inside of bowl was gently spritzed with CK one cologne.  The inside liquid was cream soda pearls, with a dollop of ice cream that felt like a tongue sliding in your mouth as you swallowed it.  Mimicked a French kiss…the best!

Looks like pasta, but it ain't!  Noodles were made from crepes that almost gave it the same texture as pasta.  Egg yolk was creamed corn, and candied smoked toffee bacon bits all layered together worked perfectly.  The first meal I ever cooked on my own was definitely not as creative!

I guessed this because of the quotes on the match boxes.  Each box had a different quote.  Beyonce's famous, put a ring on it, and the one that gave it away to me was 'It's not you, it's me'.  How many times have I said that?  HA.  The matches were given to light the coil of paper under the petals to give the meringue petals burnt edges.  Tasted similar to burnt marshmallows, another childhood memory.

An Orchid filled with a shiso salted lime sorbet.  Perfect way to cleanse your palette.  How beautiful, and we got to take home our Orchids.

The urgent memo was the give away.  Then when you open it it looked like a power point presentation inside, with chocolate, nougat, praline, cardamom.  With caffeine being the winner.  Yes, I definitely was drinking loads of coffee and running on very little sleep at my first job.  But nothing like how I lacked sleep in the beginning of mother hood!

Made to resemble beef wellington.  Puff pastry, chocolate mousse, black currant and a red wine butter sauce, topped with a dollop of creme fraiche.  Who knew dessert could look like that!

This I thought would be more appropriately called "First Pop The Cherry".  HA.  Excuse me!  But that made more sense to me then first dance.  It was strawberry mascarpone and elderflower.  My least favorite.  But I'm not a fan of the jelly texture.

Finally the last course!  Don't laugh but I thought the plate was edible!  It looked like pavlova meringue, but it was specially designed pottery for this dish.  That's how good it looked!  The edible parts were plum, sake leaves and lychee icy.

When we thought it was all done, it wasn't!  We were served our last drink together with the bakery's famous DKA (Dominique's Kouign Amann).  Think a caramelized croissant.  It's light, flaky, not overly sweet, and oh gosh this is something I will be definitely back at the bakery during store hours to get.

Have I allured you?  This particular menu will remain the same till February and then they will switch it out in Spring.  Tickets go on sale online every Monday at 12pm sharp, for reservations made 7 weeks in advance.  Only a handful are able to get tickets because there are only 8 seats per seating time, that are offered at either 6:30 or 9:30pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  I did the math for you…Total of 48 tickets only available for sale every Monday.  I was told by the staff 1200 - 1500 people log on every Monday for the mad rush!  Boy was I lucky!  The stress was real, because even though I went on a few minutes before 12pm, as I was trying to click and purchase the tickets they were selling out so fast that I wasn't able to secure a reservation of my first or second choice.  But low and behold I finally got to get through and score!

So worth the try.  Would make a perfect gift for a special occasion.  Beware though, this mega sugar rush will have you stuffed by the end.  So eat light before you go.  Don't be fools like us who ate Bar-B-Que before we went!  I honestly felt sick when I left and could hardly walk out.  HA.  They gave us a goodie box to take home attached to the balloon.  Inside were duck fat chips.  I saved them for the next day.  Oh - em - gee delish!  But of course…what isn't that comes out of Dominique Ansel's kitchen?  You must try EVERYTHING!

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