Typically when I review a restaurant, I like to sample several dishes. As regular readers can recall, quite often I write about the lengthy meals that cover everything from the amuse bouche to dessert. This review is quite different in that we only ate one course at this restaurant. Not only was it just one course, my husband and I ordered the same dessert, which almost never happens. However, this was one of the best desserts I have eaten at a restaurant.
A few Mondays ago, my husband and I were in New York City on business travel. We had enjoyed a fine Tapas Monday dinner at Boqueria. After three different dishes and a bottle of Cava, we saved room for dessert at a not yet determined destination. With pleasantly warm weather, we enjoyed a brief ten minute walk from Boqueria to Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse. We didn’t know that Vic & Anthony’s was our destination; we simply saw the restaurant, which looked like the sort of atmosphere that we enjoy, and decided to step inside.
Once we took seats at the bar, we knew that we had chosen the right place for dessert. Between the friendly bartender, the attractive decor, and the well-appointed bar, we knew that this was a restaurant suited for us. We ordered coffees and asked for a copy of the dessert menu for perusing. For both of us, chocolate desserts are eliminated immediately, which in many restaurants will take our options to only one or two. Here, we had a number of choices.
Looking at the menu, I knew what dish would be of most interest to both of us: Croissant Bread Pudding. Freshly baked croissants are a favorite for both of us, especially since our trip to Paris. Bread pudding is something that we also both enjoy, so I knew that this dessert would be enticing for us. While we normally would order one of this dessert and share or order two different dessert, I really was hoping to enjoy my entire serving. Thus, after my husband ordered his bread pudding, I followed with the same order.
The bread pudding was one of the best that I’ve ever had at a restaurant. (I am partial to the many homemade versions that I have made.) The croissant added a nice lightness to this warm plate of pudding. Covered with a drizzle of caramel sauce and a scoop of caramel ice cream, there was a decent amount of sweetness to the dish. The final topping to this dessert was toffee pieces that were sprinkled over the entire dish. While it seems like it could have been cloyingly sweet, this dish was the perfect end to a Tapas Monday. The interestingly lightness of a warm bread pudding combined with the cold bite of ice cream and finished with the crunch of toffee was a delightful way to end our evening.
The next time that I am in Manhattan (or one of the other three cities that is home to a Vic & Anthony’s), I will be sure to finish my night with an order of Croissant Bread Pudding.