Last Thursday at Auntie Em's:
I picked up a cupcake sampler and distributed it around my workplace-- that is, I went into work on a day I didn't have to go and dropped some off. Seriously, nothing gets my coworkers as happy as those cupcakes (or my failed fudge-turned-truffles).
Last Thursday night at the Hungry Cat:
I had a fantastic chorizo-stuffed squid dish-- juicy, warm, and infinitely comforting. It could've used some added spiciness, but I suppose in order to appeal to a broader palate, one has to make certain sacrifices (oh, my, 's like college all over again!).
Now, I recall reading some complaints that the cocktails are too sweet. Well, I think all cocktails are, by default, too sweet. That said, I'd suggest that you communicate your wishes to the bartender-- have some agency and ask not to have simple syrups added or to have extra citrus juices added! My bartender at the Hungry Cat was quite accomodating with both such requests, and I had two great drinks: a strawberry daiquiri (with lots of added lime juice) that was that night's special and a kumquatini (without simple syrup and added grapefruit and lemon juices). Seriously, restaurants and bars ought to-- and often DO-- work for and with you, not against.
I only wish they had offered something other than bread pudding as dessert-- well, only kinda, since I was pretty full...
Last night at Providence:
My friend made reservations for us to have the dessert tasting. Best. Decision. She. Has .Ever. Made. (in my presence, at least)
We had the full tasting, which featured, in succession:
1) white chocolate "lollipop" with a cardamom-infused blood-orange filling, served in a tiny glass filled with sugar (so the thing would stand up, and hopefully not something anyone expected us to consume): now, cardamom's my favorite spice and blood-orange is one of my favorite citrus flavors, so...
2) lychee-shiso sorbet on a passionfruit gelee in a pool of basil seeds and coconut-and-soymilk emulsion: the passionfruit, while it was certainly my favorite single component of this course, rather overpowered the others. still...
3) butternut squash polenta with strewn salted candied pecans, maple syrup, and a dollop of mascarpone: the mascarpone tasted like butter (I actually thought it was butter at first) and was really, really, really rich-- actually, the entire thing was, so neither of us finished this dish.
4) pear gelee, almond cake with a fried rosemary garnish, raspberry (?) puree, rosemary gelato atop streusel, and rosemary-butter foam: before I realized it was pear (I sometimes don't listen to the servers as attentively as I should), I thought the "apple" tasted odd-- not quite like apple. As soon as I tasted the center of the gelee, which was pure pureed pear, I realized my mistake and enjoyed the dish more. The rosemary gelato was amazing, as were the almond cake (or frangipane crust, if you will) and the tiny foamy, salted streusel that might've been the saltier, more solidified version of the rosemary-butter foam.
bonus, yay!: frozen banana capsule filled with caramel and Frangelico, chocolate sorbet (!!!) atop pureed banana, with...tapioca pearls?: the pearls didn't really taste like anything, so I'm not quite sure what purpose they served other than perhaps being a vehicle for the caramel-Frangelico sauce. The chocolate sorbet with cocoa nibs was AMAZING. I could die eating that. Seriously. The banana capsule would've been better, had it been allowed to thaw out a little bit before being served.
5) chocolate mousse cake, horchata ice cream with candied almonds (or pecans, but probably almonds), and avocado-banana puree: the mousse was amazing, but perhaps overpoweringly chocolatey. The avocado-banana puree, with its more salty and savory profiles, served as a great counterpoint to the other flavors. The horchata ice cream made me miss one of my closest friends (she's Dominican), whom I hadn't seen in two years.
A caveat: the entire tasting is pretty filling, so make sure not to have eaten too much beforehand and enjoy!