March 23, 2009
I'm happy to feature Puff and Choux's first guest blogger today, and I'm even happier that this person is Bradley Matthews. Bradley is a dear friend of mine and has always been a champion of my crazy ideas - this blog being one of them. I'm telling you folks, you can't ask for a better friend than Bradley - he's got the "greatest friend in the world" title nailed down pretty tight.
ChikaLicious - the ultimate dessert experience
By Bradley Matthews
Firstly, I'm honored to be a guest contributor on Puff and Choux. I (and the other indulgent heffers out there) love this site.
On Saturday I FINALLY treated myself and another dessert whore to the ChikaLicious experience over on 10th Street at 2nd Avenue. I've walked by this place for ages and have always wanted to try it. Something about the white decor...the oblong bar...the minimal seating...and the simple phrase 'dessert bar' were all quite enticing. We realized that the main experience opens at 3pm on Saturday and mistakenly ended up in the 'casual cafe part of ChikaLicious' across the street which offers desserts to go without the experience of getting to watch the chefs MAKE the dessert. I equate it like going to a Benihana 'to-go cart' without getting to see the Japanese chef fling the shrimp tails all over the table and bang the salt/pepper shakers to a beat.
I should preface the rest of the story with the fact that the person whom was with me is a dessert connoisseur. He had been to ChikaLicious previously, so his expectations were high. Upon entry, we were immediately seated at a side-table, so we didn't actually get to watch the chefs prepare the desserts. A Bob Marley mix played throughout our whole ChikaLicious experience, so I was happy as a clam (pretty easy to please on the musical front I suppose).
Let's get on to the desserts. We ordered a Prixe Fixe course with a matching wine (ChikaLicous picks the wine for you based on your dessert choices). We started with the 'Amuse'...a panna cotta of some sort...I honestly can't remember as the portion fit on one scoop of my spoon. I know this is a tasting, but come on people! At least provide us with smaller, more delicate spoons. The heavy monstrosity we were required to use diminished the decadence of the experience. The second dessert is the 'main course' and is the dessert of your choice. I had the white chocolate mousse which I found to be quite smooth and tasty, until I then tasted my accomplice's dessert. He had the chocolate tart with peppercorn ice cream. I think that was the best dessert and ice cream I've had in a while. The chocolate tart was filled with chocolate ooze that ran like a river into the ice cream. The ice cream literally tasted like pepper...I've never experienced that. Something about curling up on a couch watching horrible movies eating peppercorn ice cream sounds a little too bourgeois-esque (bourgy if you will) for me, but DAMN was that scrumptious. I kept having to sneak tastes from him. We wrapped up the tasting with the 'Petit Fours,' which included four bite size samples of cookies and chocolates.
Since we ordered different 'main course' desserts, we each were provided with different wines. I received a sparkling sweet blush of some sort...I tasted flower essence of some sort...it basically was a perfect match for my light mousse. He received a dark port to match his chocolate tart. I've never been a huge port fan, and drinking port at 3:30pm just seems wrong for some reason. It seem to overpower the amazing tastes of the chocolate tart and the peppercorn ice cream.
We both LOVED the two owners: Chika (the chef...the cutest Japanese woman I have ever seen) who would come to our table to introduce the dessert courses in a thorough and professional manner, along with her partner in crime (and husband), Don, whose kind personality was a perfect match to Chika's, making me think that if they had a child (which they may), it MAY just be the cutest, most meek baby ever.
All in all, ChikaLicious was an amazing experience. I could have probably scarfed down ten helpings of each dessert easily, but I suppose they don't want to fatten us New Yorkers up TOO much. Most of us don't have Segways (although I would love one...but I hear they are illegal in New York...I digress).
When in New York, be sure to visit:
ChikaLicious Dessert Bar
203 E. 10th Street
New York, NY
P: (212) 475-0929