This holiday season, Gotham Bar and Grill will be featuring a special dessert which highlights Green & Black’s chocolates, a company that prides itself on providing creamy, delicious chocolate made from organic and fair trade cocoa beans from the Dominican Republic and Belize. Gotham’s Pastry Chef Deborah Racicot first discovered this chocolate while she was doing demonstrations at Macy’s. And so the love affair began.
In this dessert, she has selected the 70% cacao semi-sweet chocolate, a milk and white chocolate. The dish is broken up into several components, but It would impossible not to begin with the tart, served still warm and made from the semi-sweet chocolate. It’s filled with soft, brown buttery pecans and chocolate with a brownie-like texture, a sophisticated pecan pie, if you will. The tart is resting atop two sauces, one cool yogurt and one (my favorite), a smooth, caramelized banana cream that any bananas foster lover would appreciate. The three slightly brûléed banana slices on top, aren’t too bad either.
To accompany the tart is a quenelle of white chocolate sorbet with peanut brittle mixed throughout. The sorbet is light and refreshing compared to the slightly dense tart. Below the quenelle is a peanut dust, a nod to molecular gastronomy, but as I often find with such scientific experiments—cool, impressive, yes—but not particularly flavorful on its own. Then there are the two pillowy milk chocolate flans beside the sorbet, which reminded me of jello pudding. But perhaps that’s what they were going for. Garnishing the plate are two crisp banana chips and a cool, hard circle of the semi-sweet variety.
Much like the dessert, the dining experience at Gotham Bar and Grill is romantic, whimsical and sophisticated. Filled with a slightly older New York crowd, it is quiet, elegant—a refreshing change from the other bustling restaurants in the neighborhood (read: NYU’s campus). Waiters skim back and forth on the floor, whisking away empty plates holding nothing but the remains of garnishes. Executive manager Bret Csencsitz also walks around ensuring that each customer is taken care of and enjoying their meal, offering a smile and a handshake, like the King of a private club to which each diner is privy.