Last night Pretty Boy, Bear Face, two other friends and I went to hear Eric Bibb play at the Dakota. Pretty Boy and I were late, because we got sidetracked by Mojo Monster’s vinyl collection after I finally hooked up her speakers and record player. Led Zeppelin II on vinyl!
As we didn’t show up earlier enough to join our other friend for dinner, I wasn’t planning on eating at the Dakota. But I sat down and had a menu placed in front of me and couldn’t resist. Pretty Boy had a Surly Furious, I had a glass of sparkling Cava, Cristalino, and we shared the Chocolate Souffle, Frozen Key Lime Mousse, and S’Mores desserts with Bear Face, all to the amazing acoustic Blues of Eric Bibb and his harmonic player.
The souffle, topped with caramel corn and a corn creme anglaise was most intriguing but a little dry around the top. After waiting the 30 minutes the menu stated it took to make a perfect souffle, it is hard for a dessert to live up to that expectation. We fought over the bits of caramel corn, and Pretty Boy turned down the creme anglaise all together after tasting it.
The frozen mousse had components with a lot of potential but did not quite come together as a dessert. The three frozen rounds of mousse on top of a smear of whipped something (it was like tangy whipped cream) were too hard and failed to have the good texture of mousse or ice cream. The key lime flavor was pretty good especially when paired with the pineapple pieces (I’ll overlook that they were from a can), ginger wafers, and candied orange peel that decorated the plate. Pretty Boy was quite excited about the candied orange peel and rightly so! The hibiscus sauce didn’t add much besides color to the plate. The flavor combinations could have been outstanding but the potential was lost somewhere in the execution. I think I might try using the flavors and altering some of the elements of this dessert in the future.
The S’mores dessert was the table favorite: graham cracker ice cream, a fudge-like chocolate piece, and toasted meringue. Assembly of the dessert on a utensil was a little challenging but the smooth ice cream filled with crunch graham bits with the bitter dark chocolate and fluffy, sweet meringue was a great combination. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: there is something absolutely magical about burnt sugar.
The night ended with a quick West Coast Swing dance on carpet (!) in shoes with rubber soles (!!) after a half a glass of champaign (!!!) by me and Bear Face in the corner hallway to one of Eric Bibbs closing numbers. I think we were the youngest group at the show by a margin (not counting the two bored sons at the table in front of us accompanying their parents) and not the usual clientele at the Dakota. Really not a dancing audience and the covered the real dance floor with tables, but that rarely stops us.
Bear Face and Pretty Boy both gave the desserts 3 sporks out of 5. I gave it 4 out of 5 because I am a sucker for that kind of swanky stuff. And that was after clarifying that they should not take to price to portion size into account. I’d say the food was good but not amazing, too much flash and not enough substance to the desserts, but the blues was about as good as it gets. Same goes for the company!