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Oct 5, 2010 08:18 PM

Addison serves Nutella on a tasting menu? Seriously.

I'm not sure if it a sign of a tough economy or some new trend in high end restaurants, but the dessert course at the end of six-course tasting menu at Addison recently was a Nutella layered mille feuille. A $140 tasting menu certainly deserves a better ending course!

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  1. I don't think there's anything wrong with Nutella in a dessert per se - heck, if it tastes great, then what's the problem?

    High-end restaurants do this all the time - foie gras with pop rocks, anyone?

    8 Replies
    1. re: shouzen

      Putting pop rocks on a dessert that you charge for is a scam. I'm not saying there isn't a sucker born every minute, but still. Reselling factory food in a supposedly high-quality restaurant is the kind of thing that makes people hate restaurants, with good reason.

      1. re: shouzen

        Technically it's not pop rocks but the primary ingredient from pop rocks. Pop rocks have added flavor and sugar and the restaurant would probably just want the chemical reaction. You can buy the unflavored stuff here:

        1. re: DougOLis

          In this case, I literally meant watermelon-flavored pop rocks, straight out of the pack, as served at Graham Elliot. It's a novelty and you accept it for what it is.

          I agree with jmtreg's comment that most places worth their salt make their products in-house, and there's no reason to believe that Addison's Nutella isn't house-made.

          That being said, to address jayporter's comment, I really see no issue with using a commercially made product in your food, regardless of the price point, if it's there for a good reason. In almost all cases, high-end restaurants that do something like this this are riffing on a theme or trying to evoke some nostalgic response. It's not like they're slapping Nutella or pop rocks or whatever on a plate and charging you for it. It's merely there as one component of the whole dish. And usually, the product is presented in a totally unexpected manner, which then delights and surprises when you taste it, etc etc. So I really think that one can't censure a place based on them using XXX mass-produced product, without actually seeing and tasting the complete plate.

          1. re: shouzen

            If you're buying something from a factory and serving it as the main component as a dish, what exactly is the restaurant adding? Particularly something like pop rocks and foie gras (which I've heard of but never seen, so it might not exist, true) -- both things are basically industrial ingredients that the restaurant has little control over. So what is the guest paying for? The idea of serving juvenile junk food in a fine-dining restaurant? Maybe that's a neat art installation, but it's also reminiscent of Bill Blazejowski. (Feed the mayonnaise directly to the tuna.)

            I don't think it's too much to ask that serious restaurants make food from raw agricultural ingredients. I recognize that I am not in the majority with this view.

            1. re: jayporter

              Pop Rocks in Foie Gras? Sounds like a PETA stunt to stop consumption of FG to me.

              1. re: jayporter

                I can see you have a strong opinion on this, but certainly you can accept that there's a place for both approaches? I greatly appreciate what you're doing at the Linkery, but it's not the only way. Of course, any "trick" done in excess becomes essentially parodic. But like I mentioned above, if used for the right reasons, I believe it can add a thoughtful aspect to a dish.

                I don't want to appear like I'm defending them too much - I'm just pointing out reasons they might have done what they did. And if you believe that serving a slab of foie gras on a plate is an affront, then you're certaintly in the minority, but I can respect your opinion.

                3794 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104

                1. re: shouzen

                  I'm not talking about Addison, I don't know what they're doing.

                  As a restaurant diner, I can't find it in myself to be interested in a dish that features an industrial product as a key ingredient. As someone who appreciates art installations, I'm somewhat interested at that level, but as a diner, I just don't see it.

                  I do think it's safe to say I go to restaurants for different reasons than most people.

                  1. re: jayporter

                    Then I guess we'll just agree to disagree, shake hands and leave it at that :)

        2. Was it Nutella, or a chocolate-hazelnut spread that the restaurant made and called Nutella? For a $140 per person (wait, did that include drinks?) I would expect everything to be house-made as well.

          5 Replies
          1. re: jmtreg

            Nothing wrong if a restaurants tries to copy certain popular food by making their own version, e.g. Animal with its Kit Kat like dessert, but a high end restaurant just using Nutella (or any other mass produced stuff which can easily made in-house) is disappointing.

              1. re: jmtreg

                I accidently replied to your post not to the OP

            1. re: jmtreg

              It was not a housemade hazelnut spread. I asked the description to be repeated and confirmed that it was in fact Nutella. $140, drinks not included.

              1. re: fork

                This kind of harkens back to another thread about Addison being overpriced for what it is. It's extremely difficult to justify paying that amount when for $20 bucks more, I could enjoy a brilliant meal at Providence. Or for $20 LESS, Saam at the Bazaar!

            2. Oh my... a Giada dis.... I'd recommend a fluffer-nutter, something SD doesn't know much about, now that would be different!

              1 Reply
              1. re: cstr

                hahah Fluffer Nutter! Back when SPREAD was just Nutter's Peanut Butter they used to make Fluffer Nutter sandwiches using the real Fluff not that imposter Marshmallow Creme stuff. I think they sold it too. I only went to Spread once so not sure if they were still selling it.

                I assume a tasting menu will incorporate it soon though!
                Link for Addison's Chef (i expect Chowhound to get a byline on the menu)