Take a fairy tale, inject it with electric current and edit like a designer and you have our dessert program at The Cypress Room. You’ll be hearing a lot about our new home for elegant American dining in the Design District over the next few weeks, as we cozy up to autumn, and what better way to start than with dessert. Just as executive pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith would like it. Here we find her playground for sweets with a technical edge, where imaginations run just the right amount of wild. Beginning today, we find out what that means for fall, as two of three new desserts hit the menu and all the right notes for the season.
“This is what I am, this is my background… [Michael’s] Genuine was a departure for me even though it’s what I’m known for. Trying to be on the same page as [chef de cuisine] Roel’s aesthetic has kept me on my toes. His food is sort of delicate and dramatic and beautiful all at the same time,” Hedy shares. “A Cypress Room dessert balances textures and flavors, and seasonality always plays an important role. I think the plates need to be visually bold and really spot on with the flavor profiles. I’m not afraid of in-your-face flavors like the tarragon in the LEMON dessert. It adds a savory element.”
LEMON highlights decadent olive oil cake “croutons” with preserved lemon, tarragon honey, and cranberries. Olive oil, lemon zest, tarragon and creme Fraiche are the main flavors of this moist cake. The lemon creme is lighter than air, made in the style of lemon curd, but that’s where the connection ends. Whole butter is added in a blender at high speed to yield a fluffy, vibrantly-flavored creme. Preserved lemons are cooked for hours in a syrup to produce a candy-like texture. Candied tarragon and edible flowers make this as beautiful as it is delicious. Honey tarragon gelees add a burst of flavor and texture throughout. What tastes more like fall than cranberry, and Hedy finishes the plate with a sorbet made from the fresh ingredient which gives this dessert not only a pop of color, but great tart flavor. “I’m smitten with the chamomile grappa,” says Hedy for, as Wine Director Eric Larkee would say, the last ingredient of the dish from The Beverage Book. The booster rockets just fired on our Italian state of mind!
APPLE features Maple Brown Butter Semifreddo, Apple Confit, Hot Bourbon Cider poured tableside from the restaurant’s bone china teapots, Medjool Leather, and Hazelnut Praline. Think ice cream meets frozen soufflé. Hedy and pastry assistant Kelly Russell start with high quality Vermont maple syrup, dark amber in color. It’s reduced by half, intensifying the maple flavor and its affinity with the nuttiness of brown butter. The different textures and temperatures make this dessert unique. Honey Crisp apples are cooked with Apple Cider, Cinnamon sticks, Star Anise, Vanilla beans, Mace and local Allspice berries, which is then puréed and added to hot cider caramel. Think apple confit – it is jammed packed with apple flavor. Dehydrated apple chips add a great crunch. The Medjool dates are flattened out into paper thin “leather” sheets, like a carpaccio only with dates. Restaurant manager Marty McCartt and Hedy agree that the Hétszolo 2001, Aszú 5 Puttunyos, Tokaj pairs perfectly.
“The apple dessert I love because it has that hot apple cider mixed with spiced [Bulliet] bourbon meeting the cold format of the semi[freddo,] ” Hedy says. “You have the frozen yet creamy custard that just starts to slowly melt, developing a third kind of flavor. I love how pristine it looks.”
Did we mention CHOCOLATE goes on next week? We must leave a little fairy dust to surprise, no? Happy Autumn from all of us at The Genuine Hospitality Group and the apple of Michael’s eye, The Cypress Room (menus are updated daily online.)