A.k.a. Rubicon, part 1. Because of this post on this fabulous blog, I decided to share an experience I had at a restaurant recently. A little over a month ago, I ate at Rubicon (in San Francisco) with my family. It was a very wonderful meal, filled with good food, and good conversation. I would heartily recommend it to anyone, and I'll speak about it more in a future post, because this post is reserved solely for dessert talk and pastry chefs.
When I go out to a restaurant that is anything decent, I always order dessert. I love dessert, and I particularly love chocolate or a rich and creamy dessert. In fact, I can be a bit of a lush because I don't often deny myself something I want. Also, usually I am the only one to order dessert amongst my family. Not this time though! At Rubicon, 4 out of 5 of my dining party ordered dessert. Yes! This, I atrribute to their love and willingness to please me. At least, I choose to believe this.
In any case, this was not the only memorable part of dessert. While I was perusing the menu, I noticed that the pastry chef's name was listed: Nicole Krasinksi. I feel like I noticed this because it was rare. While I don't scrupulously examine menus to find the chefs’ names, I am an observant person and think that I would have noticed if it were a common practice to list the pastry chef’s name.
Last, but certainly not least, the dessert course was memorable because the desserts were fabulous. Truly. Two stood out from the bunch, but they were all around very tasty. Wanna hear what they are? Huh? Huh? Do ya? Too bad! *ahem* No, just kidding. I aim to please:
One of the desserts was a simple sorbet duo of strawberry and peach. It was very fresh and smooth and tasty. Real fruit flavor abounded like a well-tended orchard. Another of the quartet was a strawberry sorbet, but with ginger and a gingered beignet. The ginger lent that special something to the dish to make it stand out.
The two that knocked my socks off, though, were a chocolate cake and a financier and ice cream pairing. The chocolate cake was my dessert, so although I tasted the others, I really had time to appreciate that one. It was a basic square of chocolate cake, with a very deep, rich chocolate flavor, and a moist, slightly dense texture. It sat in a pool of crème fraiche, with a concentric circle of apricot preserves surrounding the moat of crème. The cake also had a topping of caramelized figs. Woah, man. Wooooooah man! It was amazing. The figs were sweet and crunchy, the cake was soft and rich, the crème fraiche smooth and tangy (almost like goat yogurt) and the apricot preserves added another layer of fruity goodness, to make it more complex. I could eat this dessert for every meal for the rest of my life.
The other knock-out dessert was a pecorino and plum financier with olive oil ice cream. It is more creative than the chocolate cake, but I think it lost a few points in the plating area. In any case, it was just as mind-blowing. The layer of pecorino cheese was salty and tangy, the layer of plum was a wonderful counterpoint and the financier in total was a fine, crumbly texture. It went so well with the olive oil ice cream. Yah- olive oil ice cream. It was divine. Rich and creamy and a little grassy and fruity. In the “odd flavors of ice cream” category, it is only bested by the bacon ice cream at Oliveto’s. Yah- bacon ice cream. Did Jeffrey Steingarten consult on that?
So that’s my tale of dessert at Rubicon. It was mighty tasty. Ms. Krasinski is doing good things.