Feelin’ the Sugar Rush
As of this week, I’d like to add a whole category to that list: dessert.
Just over a week ago, three Chowder contribs headed to the opening of Le Patissier at Troquet, the parkside eatery’s new dessert-only restaurant on the first floor. Born out of a) new pastry chef Sarah Woodfine‘s passion for all things sweet and b) the owner’s desire to do something with the otherwise unused space below the main dining room, it’ll be serving up plated desserts like blackberry-almond tarts and pistachio-crusted beignets. Also on tap: small, savory plates by chef Scott Hebert and a good selection of port and other after-dinner sips.
Judging by the treats served up at the preview party, Woodfine (formerly of the White Barn Inn in Kennebunkport, Maine) knows her sweets. Mini lemon-meringue tartlets struck just the right balance of egginess and tang; swan-shaped pastry puffs hid a rich filling of raspberry mousse.
Then on Wednesday, I headed over to the Langham Hotel, which hosted a reception for its own new pastry chef, Trena Costello. She’ll be heading up this year’s Chocolate Bar (always a hit with tourists, bachelorettes, and folks with low blood sugar), which opens on September 13.
In addition to more classic dessert offerings—we loved the pistachio creme with brandied cherry atop a chocolate crisp, and the apricot-chocolate Napoleon—Costello is also adding vegan cakes and gluten-free cookies to the lineup, both of which tasted surprisingly non-diety. (Tragically, she discovered in pastry school that she had Celiac’s disease, meaning she can’t eat anything with wheat gluten. So she feels their cake- and cookie-deprived pain.) Less appealing were the savory items, like a crab-and-white chocolate croquette and a goat cheese-and-chocolate mousse.
(File under: Tried it once, no need to try it again.)
Unsurprisingly, I left feeling a bit sugared out. Not that that stopped me from ordering dessert at Scampo later that night. After some lobster ravioli and fried artichokes, of course.