A 6 Course Italian Dessert Tasting in New York

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

In our series of featured venues, we bring a cozy spot in the party spot of New York's Meatpacking District. Located in the heart of the nightlife central of Chelsea in  New York, La Sirena was a sunlight splashed and checkerboard tiled cozy cave in the Maritime Hotel, serving contemporary Italian cuisine worthy of its Michelin Star. The dessert tasting comprised of 6 courses, 5 being traditional desserts and the last an interactive pairing with wine. Executive Pastry Chef Thea Habjanic came from a solid pedigree from the Institute of Culinary Education and had worked at Le Bernardin, David Burke Fishtail and the Corner Table Restaurants (The Smith, Jane).
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1. Semifreddo all’arancia rossa

This prickly porcupine looking dessert was literally art on a plate. With perfectly torched honey ricotta mousse and a sumptuous olive oil cake. The inside of the mousse was a surprisingly bright blood orange sorbetto, discoverable only after first bite! The honey cardamom sauce wrapped the dessert up beautifully with just the right amount of spice to offset the honey.
michelinstar michelin star lasirena la sirena new york newyork dessert desserttasting tastingmenu tasting foodcritic foodreview food review @sssourabh

2. Bomboloni E Tartufi

These Italian style doughnuts were filled with chocolate hazelnut pastry cream and served with hazelnut gelato, chocolate truffles, chocolate sauce and bits of dehydrated lemon. The doughnuts were rich, decadent, and thankfully cut with the lemon so that one could guiltlessly devour the entire portion!
michelinstar michelin star lasirena la sirena new york newyork dessert desserttasting tastingmenu tasting foodcritic foodreview food review @sssourabh

3. Orale Bambina! (aka Hey Girl!)

Named after a Mexican Italian fusion with a hint of comic timing, the deconstructed tiramisu was indeed art on a plate. Mocha and mascarpone constituted the cake portion, topped with a sugar layer, a dessert rendition of mole sprinkled with my pomegranate arils, and topped with chocolate guajillo sorbet. The combination had the right notes of sweet cake, bitter coffee, and chocolate decadence was elevated further with the textural contrasts. The highlight was the spicy aftertaste of the sorbet.
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4. Gelati e Sorbetti

The portobello and candy cap mushroom gelato with balsamic and sea salt arrived looking deceivingly like a caramel, but had the aroma of mushroom. It even tasted like it, almost like a cold punch of a deeply savory essence sans any saccharine taste, made almost tangy with the balsamic!
michelinstar michelin star lasirena la sirena new york newyork dessert desserttasting tastingmenu tasting foodcritic foodreview food review @sssourabh

5. Negroni Sbagliato Sundae

Gastronomy in tact, it was served in a mason jar with orange Campari sherbet and sweet vermouth whip, topped with Campari mandarin pearls (akin to dessert caviar in their appearance) and Campari caramel. This was then topped with Prosecco foam, rounding it off as one of the booziest desserts of recent times. It stuck true to its bitterness promise, with not one taste out of place. Cocktails anyone?
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6. Vin Santo e Biscotti

With Wine Director Scott Woltz, a cart with a host of wines and ingredients strolled into the sunlight, where each of the Vin Santo dessert wines was paired with a biscotti comprising of ingredients on the cart – which to my delight included both chocolate and sultanas and the likes, alongside familiar Middle Eastern and Indian ingredients like saffron and tamarind. Presented table side, the cantucci e vin santo was made to relish with placing the biscotti inside the wine!
michelinstar michelin star lasirena la sirena new york newyork dessert desserttasting tastingmenu tasting foodcritic foodreview food review @sssourabh
1. Salvetta, Trentino 2009 ➕ Saffron, Apricot, Almond.
2. Castello di Sonnino, Tuscany 2008 ➕ Fig, Walnut, Allspice.
3. Lanciola, Tuscany 2007 ➕ Chocolate, Tamarind, Cherry, Hazelnut.
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