Desserts at Spot
After lamenting from the losses of Pastry Chef Pichet Ong’s P*Ong and Batch that was located in West Village, I have never felt happier when I read that he’s opening again in the East Village, named Spot.
I have been to both P*Ong (review here but I’m warning you the photos aren’t that great back then) and Batch (went there twice – here’s the photos I went a few weeks before it closed) and it is a hybrid of the former two places. The minimalist interior and plated desserts reminds me of P*Ong while the baked goods and the use of edible glitter reminds me of Batch.
My friend, who I’ll call MRT, hooked me up for a tasting with Pichet. Since nothing was concrete or setup as to timing, Mr. Ong was at another location and I had to ask the manager of Spot to contact him. I felt bad that he had to rush over here and I apologized when we met and shook hands. After our brief introduction, he started to work his magic.
The first dessert of the evening was poached persimmon sitting on top of a puddle of mascarpone, jasmine rice and sprinkled with a couple of pistachios. I enjoyed the subtle sweetness the persimmon had and the soft texture mimicked the creaminess of the cheese. There were a few drops of lemon cream or curd, I think that added a tart flavor for contrast. It was one of my favorites of the night. (Though not everyone agrees with me.)
The white miso semifreddo with raspberry and olive oil was pretty good. The semifreddo cake does remind me of a Japanese-style castella cake. The swath of miso gave a nice salty hit and the raspberry (two ways – fresh and ice cream) played on the bracingly good, tart factor.
Then I came across the whimsically plated soft cheesecake. I would call it deconstructed but some people would think of other ways to name it. The large pool of pale yellow-white, creamy substance was the soft cheesecake. Sweetened to my likeness; wonderfully creamy and not too rich. The walnut crumbles mimic as the cheesecake crust and the huckleberries added little bites of fruity acidity.
Mr. Ong was kind enough to grace me with the warm chocolate cake, done his way. The chocolate cake was served warm and filled with a cold, thick chocolate cream (almost ganache), poached honey pears, and green tea ice cream, dotted with a few chocolate pearls. This was my other favorite dessert. It plays with the warm and cold temperatures and the soft and crunchy textures. The ice cream was top notch – not overtly bitter with the green tea and it’s super smooth.
By the time I finished the chocolate cake dish, I was really full and fearing my blood sugar would spike to diabetic levels. I thanked Pichet Ong and his staff and walked around a bit to burn off a few calories off. (And a thanks to MRT for the connection.)
I hope Spot would survive longer than his preceding places. I do recommend this place highly for the beautifully crafted desserts that isn’t overwhelmingly expensive compared to a high-end restaurant.
13 St Mark’s Place (between 3rd Ave and Astor Pl)
New York, NY 10003 (map)