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Wobbily Wonders

Panna cotta, that wobbly wonder, gets dressed up for the holidays.

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Shaking things up: Public's peanut panna cotta with wasabi-kalamansi-lime jelly.  

1. WD-50 “Since we don’t have one, this is like our cheese course,” says the waiter about pastry chef Sam Mason’s savory panna cotta made with aged goat cheese. Grape sorbet, port foam, and a walnut crisp—but no sugar—round out the intense flavor. (50 Clinton Street; 212-477-2900.)

2. Public Who says New Yorkers don’t go for edgy desserts? The delicious peanut panna cotta with wasabi-tweaked kalamansi-lime jelly at this new sister restaurant to London’s Providores is nearly as popular as the chocolate-mousse cake, says chef Brad Farmerie. It’s kind of like a deranged PB&J with a glass of milk. (210 Elizabeth Street; 212-343-7011.)

3. Five Points Claudia Fleming upped the panna-cotta ante years ago at Gramercy Tavern; here, her buttermilk version with Concord-grape poached pears and sorbet is typically well balanced—smooth, rich, piquant, and suitably jiggly. (31 Great Jones Street; 212-253-5700.)

4. Bao Noodles Pandanus leaves give this Southeast Asian version a fragrant floral note, not to mention its Shamrock Shake green tint. A drizzle of coconut cream and a fresh mango-guava dice sweeten the deal. (391 Second Avenue, near 23rd Street; 212-725-7770.)

5. Hearth Goat’s milk and a huckleberry compote are the tart and tangy one-two punch that give pastry chef Lauren Dawson’s version its superior edge. (403 East 12th Street; 646-602-1300.)


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