Have you ever thought to yourself, “I wish I could just have dessert for dinner!”, or playing Candyland as a child and wishing it were real? Then you’re not the only one; the creators of Chanson, a patisserie in Flatiron, just opened up their Dessert Bar, and it’s the sweet lover’s everything!
While up on the ground level Chanson is serving up confections that are already drool-worthy (with macarons and eclairs to die for!), but the real action is through an inconspicuous door to the right. Down the illuminated steps, and through a curtain of secrecy, you find yourself in what looks like a modern speakeasy. Exposed brick line the ceiling while clean lines and backlighting set the mood for the 16 chairs that await to be occupied by reserved guests. Cozy, nooked couches give extra space for patrons to lounge before dinner begins and the magic happens.
If you have ever attended a Sushi Omakase (a Japanese phrase meaning ‘up to you’), then this style of eating will come as no surprise, but for those who have not enjoyed the experience then this will be a treat of a lifetime – since the chef is present in front of you you get to enjoy first hand the art of what goes into making the dish you are consuming. Once seated at the bar our host came to us to ask if we had any food allergies that we should be aware of, and with the green light the evening had begun.
Behind the bar there were four: head chef Rory MacDonald, his sous chef, sommelier/mixologist, and bartender/server; everyone had a role to play in this wonderful symphony. They started the evening with a citrusy amuse bouche to cleanse the palate which was then followed by a spicy jalapeño apple bite to tingle the taste buds.
As the evening went on the surprises kept coming: an olive oil gelato which was presented with rosemary oil on the fumes of dry ice, a childhood moment where I was faced with a Jif jar filled with a peanut butter s’mores delight topped with a cooling banana sorbet, and, one of my favorites of the night, Yuzo Honey – a dish with two ice creams: one of barley, the other of honey, with pieces of yoghurt bites, meringue and cookie crumble sprinkled on top. I felt transported to dessert heaven!
The most interesting dish of the night had to be the Black Sesame Yuzu Truffle. Cooked as if it were a dumpling, and set soaking in a delicious, aromatic tea, I had no idea what to expect when I put the whole dumpling in my mouth (to Rory’s suggestion). At first I felt as if I were eating a soup dumpling, but as soon as I bit into it a burst of dark chocolate and savory truffle/sesame flavor burst into my mouth which was overwhelming, and so unexpected! I got a motion from Rory to drink the tea, and with that the flavors made sense. The floral notes balanced out the richness and created an almost soothing feeling of warmth.
To cap off the night there was no ordinary “nightcap” (obviously); we were presented with these cute and tame looking gummy bears, but tame they were not! Each was a boozy cocktail in bite size form. From a little Old Fashioned to something of a White Russian, these little guys packed a punch! We asked the sous chef how long it took her to make them and she said, “this is the 25th batch, just didn’t get it quite right the first time,” now that’s dedication!
With all this dessert you would think that you’d feel that sickening feeling, that need for something a little salty or tangy, but with all honesty these desserts were balanced so well that by the end of the night I felt nothing, but contentment. Just a wonderful feeling of having gone through a magical journey that I thought could only happen in my dreams,… and now at Dessert Bar.
Reservations fill up quickly so try to book as quickly as you can, you can book directly through the site. Remember to follow my daily adventures on Instagram, and, as always, safe travels!