My friends will tell you one of my guilty pleasures is desserts, so when I was invited to a preview tasting of the new dessert menu by Michael Bump, Executive Pastry Chef for Forking Amazing Restaurants I was over the moon. The tasting included items from Chef Bump’s new menus for Bistro Aix and Il Desco. Bistro Aix a long time staple in San Marco and the newer and now well recognized Il Desco in Avondale/Riverside area are two of the hottest dining spots in town and are on my list of favorites. Let me make you drool.
First up the Roasted Seasonal Fruit one of the new Bistro Aix offerings; the dish composition a roasted peach half served atop vanilla shortbread cookie crumble, a sweet buttermilk ice cream scoop and tasty phyllo crisp. Light flavorful, well balanced, this dessert did not overwhelm the palate.
Next offering also from Bistro Aix a most desirable and well executed Chocolate Nutella Crepes, the name alone was enough for me, I have my own jar of Nutella at home and it’s strictly a hands off for anyone but me. To complete the pleasure factor of this dish Chef Bump lured us in deeper by adding a dark chocolate mousse, vanilla anglaise, and hazelnut brittle topping
Our third and final dish from Bistro Aix was for me the prize of the night; The Beignet Feuilletee, now I have eaten and absolutely adore the beignets from Café Du Monde in NOLA, and for me there is nothing to equal them, well until tonight. I could have stopped right here if they would serve me another portion. Dusted with Vietnamese cinnamon, nicely nested in a tart/sweet raspberry sauce the dressed with a dollop of Frangelico crème brulee, then sprinkled with candied hazelnuts, and a topped with a perfect raspberry and mint sprig.
After a brief intermezzo we moved on to the new offerings for Il Desco, starting strong with the Italian influence we were served Tiramisu, not a fan of this dessert I almost gave it away to my dinner partner, but I was curious, knowing how Chef Bump can spin his food. As it turned out this tiramisu may have been one of the richest, most interesting I have ever experiences. Dark deep flavors of the espresso and rum soaked sponge cake, a mascarpone mousse, and the generous topping of shaved chocolate and a rich coffee anglaise topping made me a believer.
Our last item almost defies description, and now I know what people mean when the say “save the best for last.” Chef Bump took us on a trip and we happily went along as each dish was better than the one before, but the finale the stunning, Chocolate Praline Torte was well worth the wait! Made with dark chocolate cake, a praline layer, chocolate mousse, vanilla anglaise, and candied hazelnut; it was decadence it the best way possible and a perfect way to the close the curtain.
Like Chef Bump I have only teased you with these desserts, the dessert menu at both restaurants are well worth a trip. If you’re not into a full meal, I will share with you going out for a late dessert and coffee or cognac is something I do enjoy. One of my many mottos “Life is uncertain eat dessert first”