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Room 4 Dessert

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i hope it's a concept that will work in the space (formerly Bar Tonno, then Bar Sasa). They kept the bar but changed everything else and the result is very nice, comfortable and low-key.


Interestingly organized, the menu has 3 columns, with desserts on the left, wines in the middle and teas on the right so that each line features a dessert, matching wine and tea (wonderful ones from Atelier, also for sale). Although we did not find out about the line pairings until later in the evening.


Desserts are divided into "glass" ($9) and "tasting" of 4 minis ($12), including a cheese tasting. It's a small menu:



vanilla coupe glacee with whisley sabayon


white choc parfait w/ meyer lemon gelee


chocobubbles w/ crunchies and moulin dores 'penitents' olive oil


energy: litchi sorbet, tea air



apple in various states: sorbet tatin, tartare, "cidre', fata papilotte


voyage to india: coco, mango 17480 (cat), parfait, kulfi


infance: grosse meringue, cotton candy, milk, 'lucky charms'


plat du jour: nolitela, caramel ice cream, brioche, cloud


not the traditional cheese plate, 'per se': epoisses, garrotxa, robiola, gouda


sushi: praline, marshmallow, pate de fruit, chocolate ($7)



We went around 10-ish, after dinner, and tried:


energy: litchi sorbet, tea air - smoky tea air, which was really foam - delicious (i was hoping he still likes to use lapsang souchong!). there were thin strips of citrus peel (?) in the sorbet


chocobubbles - very foamy, very cocoa-powder-tasting, not a big hit - not even with chocolate-loving husband


apple in various states: sorbet tatin, tartare, 'cidre', fata papilotte - the sorbet was good (texture resembled apple sauce), tartare- diced apple and gelee with anise micro greens, if i remember correctly (i was exhausted & had been sucking on 'champagne air' earlier so memory a bit hazy), the cider was extremely sweet and one-note and the papilotte was a slice of cooked apple in a stapled plastic baggie served with a cookie. sorbet and tartare were good but overall it was not a great as anticipated


voyage to india: coco, mango 17480 (cat), parfait, kulfi - most fun and interesting dessert (togehter with the litchi sorbet) - coconut two ways: cold, texture of soft ice cream and dehydrated powder. very yummy. mango 'pearls' (made with sodium alginate) kind of there, mostly texture, not much mango. light chocolate parfait, perhaps with some spices? can't remember much detail (too much 'air' earlier?) except it was delicious and very light, mousse-y and looked like a small donut when served. husband absent-mindedly ate all the kulfi :wub: must have been good


Note: perversely going against the current, we didn't order the infance or plat du jour, which almost everyone else did - must be the cotton candy (the machine is in the front, passers-by can see the action) and caramel/nutella-like nolitela combo. will try them the next time.


we had a glass of riesling and kaa durazno, indian-style yerba mate, which had a divine peachy flavor. other interesting teas: nooshin (mango, hibiscus & calendula) and "monkey picked oolong" (from anxi, fujian), "earl grey blue eyes"


chatted with Will Goldfarb for a while, who talks to everyone at the bar and offers tastes of banyuls and sweet dark sherry, both quite good. we looked through a mock-up (prototype?) of his book - very interesting, not your traditional pastry book. not really a pastry book, actually, but more of a personal statement, philosophy, thoughts, charts, some technical information. no recipes.


majority of the staff seemed french, very polite and attentive. it was their second night and relatively busy (with a couple of food writers). more people came in as we were leaving around midnight. nice, low-key experience, hanging out encouraged. will go back. soon. for the plat du jour (which is not changing, just the name) and whiskey sabayon.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had to be in Soho in the afternoon so I stopped in. I thought I read that they opened at 4, but when I walked in the door at 6 they were just opening. I was the only person there from 6 to 7:30 or so. I had the whisky sabayon, with the suggested drink pairing which turned out to be a strong makers mark and coke (I hadn't asked for drink ingredients, just ordered, so I didn't know what I was getting :blush: ). The sabayon was served with vanilla ice cream, praline corn flakes and coke reduction. I thought the sabayon wasn't whisky flavored enough, but I've now had a couple of whisky desserts and I don't really like them because they never capture my favorite part of whisky, which is the smokiness and the peatiness. I think I'm giving up on them. The corn flakes were the best part of this dessert.


Then moved onto the India plate, described by Nuxvomica above. I dumped the mango pearls into the coconut and enjoyed the combo.


The desserts were fun and conceptually interesting, but nothing I felt the need to lick the plate over. Still, it would be a very pleasant place to share a couple of desserts with friends. Everyone was so nice and good natured, although both Will and Bob wouldn't recommend anything, saying that they didn't actually like to eat dessert. An odd admission from pastry chefs at their own dessert bar.


Their valentine's day gimmick is that they are bidding off a dinner date with Bob. Bidding will start at $200.

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  • 3 weeks later...

It's todays $25 and Under column


I was there over the weekend with my mom and sister for my mothers birthday(by the way- they are reading these comments because I got in trouble for something I wrote). They offered my mother a glass of champagne.


Peter Meehan thinks the La Fleur lychee drink is too sweet but I loved it. We had the choco bubbles dessert, the apple 4 ways and the voyage to India (already described). The apple was my favorite of the desserts I have tried there: an apple drink described as a cider, but I don't know what made it a cider, a tart tatin sorbet (mmm, burnt sugar), apple gellee with sabayon and a small apple tart. The choco bubbles was quite rich but not particularly nuanced. I didn't get any of the cocoa powder taste Nuxvomica described.


The woman who works behind the bar is one of the most beautiful woman I've ever seen.

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  • 2 months later...

I went last night around 8:45 and there was no problem getting a seat. From reading the descriptions in this thread and looking at the menu on line, I had been all set to order the chocobubbles and the voyage to India but then found that the menu had changed. Will said that this is his spring/summer menu.


Here is the new menu:


The glasses (9$ ea)


pina colada - coco cola with pine nut nougatine

ice ice cafe - cold passion and nibs earth

sangria - white peaches and herb

like a "bellini williams" - pear, honey


The tastings (12$ ea)

pique nique springtemps - "panache", pomelo, rhubarb, crumble

something about chocolate - financier, creme prise, air, ice cream

/red (homage gagnaire) - raspberry, beet, hibiscus jello, vanilla parfait

/PACK: pistachio, apricot, cerises, kirsch - moelleux, sorbet, confiture, sabayon


Alternatives (prices vary)

not another cheese plate, "per se" - hochibrieg, abbaye citeaux, taleggio, bleu (14$)

small ovens - cereal, guimauve, pate de fruit redux, lollypops (8$)



In order to really save "room", I skipped dinner and went straight to "Room 4 Dessert". The something about chocolate tempted me and Will suggested the pina colada for an additional, fresh taste.


The pina colada was composed of three layers: the top was a lovely pineapple flavored ice cream that was neither too creamy nor too icy. I would say that it was a slightly creamier sorbet. I tend to not be too into fruit flavored ice creams but I really enjoyed this and it would be perfect on a really hot summer day. Beneath the ice cream was a powder that looked like confectioners sugar but tasted like a pina colada. As the powder got wet from the melting ice cream, it turned into a foamy kind of liquid that somehow did not seep into the layer below unless I forced it with my spoon. I was not so into the bottom layer. I don't really know what it was, but it had the texture of a chunky apple sauce and the taste was a little bit astringent.


The chocolate tasting was very nice. The ice cream was probably one of the best chocolate ice creams i've ever had. There were some little crunchies below the scoop of ice cream which were a pleasant textural surprise. The chocolate taste from the ice cream was strong so I couldn't really isolate the taste of these little crunches. The "air" component was this almost weightless, foamy chocolate - very mellow. The "creme prise" was similar in taste to a really good hot chocolate and similar in texture to the "air" but with a slight bit more moisture and a little bit slicker on the tongue. This was okay - a little bit too sweet for me. My favorite part of the chocolate tasting was the financier. A little chocolate cake with a pool of olive oil in the center and some salt which is one of my favorite dessert combinations.


Overall, I'd say it was a pleasant experience: the desserts were interesting, Will was pleasant and friendly, the atmosphere was pretty relaxed. If I go again, I don't know if I'd approach it in the same way. I think I enjoy savory food too much and afterwards, I felt like I missed out on dinner. I walked uptown a little to try out some small plates at Degustation (which was FABULOUS - too bad at this point I only had enough room for 2 dishes!). The perfect evening would be to start off with 4 small plates at Degustation and then go a few blocks down to Room 4 Dessert for one of the tastings desserts.



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