I was late in discovering Dominique Ansel and his infamous cronut. But instead of standing in his cronut line, I decided to get tickets to his Unlimited Possibilities dessert tasting instead. (I will attempt the cronut line in the very near future…) Tickets go on sale at the beginning of every month at noon. There are only 8 spots per seating, which makes tickets a little harder to come by. Each person can only purchase 2 tickets. I tried going back to try for a second set, but they were already sold out. For you drinkers out there, there is an alcohol pairing option. I attended the U.P. Firsts tasting and two weeks prior, they emailed me to ask some specific questions (one of them being “what was your first word”).
The tasting is located at their 137 Seventh Ave. South bakery and the first seating starts after the bakery closes. They ask that you arrive 15 minutes before your reservation and they don’t guarantee a seat if you are late, so being punctual is highly recommended. As you walk up their narrow stairwell into the small open kitchen, you question where and how this tasting will happen because there are no tables or chairs. As the staff walk you through their space and how they use their kitchen, they start to lower a pre-set table down from the ceiling. (Check my Instagram @ihaveitbookmarked for video).
The experience started with vegetables. Because you can’t have your dessert until you’ve eaten your vegetables.
We walked through some really important stages of life:
Your First Word
sweet pea, rice milk, carrot cake, meringue & yogurt. with the most amazing yuzu sparkler.
A much better tasting version of baby food, this brought back memories of stories my grandmother would tell me about the crazy things she used to feed us.
Your First Kiss
raspberry, fresh mint & vanilla cream
Hopefully your first kiss was as sweet as this dessert. Towards the end of this sweet treat, you feel a small clump of vanilla cream creep into your mouth, just like if your someone special is giving you some tongue. The carefully selected ceramics remind you of someone scruffy or someone smooth.
First Time Living Alone
sweet corn, crepes, smoked toffee, brown sugar & black pepper
What’s great about this course, is I have a very similar frying pan. And I do eat off of it instead of putting my food in a dish because that would be an extra step. Reheating food in college was one of my great accomplishments, and this matched my predicament exactly.
Your First Heart Break
bergamot, cocoa nibs, marshmellows & bitter almond
Wondering if your special someone still loves you or not, this course comes with a match box that tells you why your earth will soon be shattered. This particular one made me laugh because it’s one I’ve used before.
He loves me… He loves me not…
This was the best way to survive a break up. Bon Bons included.
But they remind you that things will get better with these beautiful palette cleansers.
Now that we’ve picked ourselves up, we’re ready for some more grown up business…
Your First Job
coffee, cardamom, nougat & malt
Here’s to realizing that there will always be a sense of urgency…
Here’s a nice little bar chart of what your life was/is life once you’ve started to work:
Note that sleep is the lowest bar on this chart.
But all this work will lead to great and wonderful experiences… experiences like
Your First Fine Dining Experience
dark chocolate, black currant, red wine, brown butter & puff pastry
Dominique Ansel’s first fine dining experience included beef wellington. Mine happened to be at Alinea in Chicago. It’s exhilarating to know that you’ve finally gotten to the point in your life where you can not only afford your first fine dining experience, but really start to appreciate the art that these chefs create with their food.
Your First Dance
frais de bois strawberries, marscarpone & yuzu
This fun little treat was dipped and piped right in front of us. It’s a fun little reminder that twirling is something that should be done on a daily basis.
Your Next First…
single cherry, sake lees & lychee
This light icy & delicate dessert reminds us that it’s never too late to try something new. Your life is a blank canvas. Make it what you want.
We ended the evening with a lovely cup of tea or coffee and Dominque’s amazing DKA. (A pastry made with the same dough as a cronut, but slightly denser). I ended up asking to take mine home.
As they escort you back down the stairs, they lined the stairway with balloons with the menu that you had just experienced, and as you make your way out the door… there’s one more treat: Each person took home a freshly fried batch of taro chips!
The team changes their menu every 6 months. I highly recommend giving this experience a try the next time you’re in New York. Or, if you haven’t been to New York yet, hopefully this will give you a little push in that direction. You won’t regret it.