As he suggested he might, Alex Stupak sends word that he's launching a five-course dessert tasting tonight at Empellón Cocina in the East Village. "We agree with some things we’ve read about the increasing lameness of desserts around the city and the team at Cocina wants to work in the other direction," the chef wrote in an email. He adds, "Desserts are the most fun thing to make. Flavors, colors and textures can be transmitted in a greater number of ways. It’s truly the toy department of the restaurant."
To start, the tastings will be available from 9:30 p.m. until close. It will cost $45 per person for five courses. If it sounds similar to the dessert tastings that Stupak offered while he was the pastry chef at wd~50, that's not unintentional. He writes, "One of our heroes, Wylie Dufresne, invested in a pastry department in his own restaurant in a much bigger way than most operators ever would. As a result, the restaurant became known for its desserts ... One of the most thrilling feelings was working that dessert station. We don’t want to deny our team the same experience. It wouldn’t be fair."
So, what kinds of things should you expect at Empellón? Here are the dishes that will be offered tonight, plus a shot of the toasted coffee-cake. Perhaps dessert's dark age is starting to brighten a tad?
Jasmine Pastry Cream
Cinnamon Sablé, Banana, Tea-Flavored Yogurt
False Passion Fruit Tart
Tahini, Sesame, Merengue
Pistachio Ice Cream
Chartreuse Mousse, Pineapple, Candied Angelica Stem
Toasted Coffee Cake
Dried Cherry, Carob, Goat’s-Milk Soup
Soft Chocolate Ganache
Cocoa Crumbs, Philadelphia-Style Vanilla Ice Cream