Patisserie Chanson Hits Home Run With The Dessert Bar

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In a subterranean lounge off 23rd street, clad in exposed brick ceilings, modern, elegant lighting, and in an aroma that blends the calm of an Aesop store with the excitement of being at the cool party in high school, Patisserie Chanson is entering a new phase with The Dessert Bar. Accessible through the bakery, which has been open since March, The Dessert Bar is a new concept led by Chef Rory Macdonald that brings a full tasting menu of desserts, each with its perfectly paired wine or cocktail.

To be clear: The Dessert Bar is not the patisserie you’d think of: pink-everywhere, sky-high-frosting-on-your-cupcake dessert outpost that the lower half of New York has oversaturated the scene with. This is where those in the know go to get their sweet tooth fix without having to chomp into a giant pastel colored puff pastry that’s getting all over you. (I see you Magnolia Bakery.) The tasting menu offers delightfully light dishes in the beginning, with gelatin spheres filled with gin and tonics, hand-crafted ice creams, locally sourced honey treats, and a cocktail for every occasion.

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The space is small, with a limited seating at the bar and a couple booths set against the wall, which means the space is going to be set apart from other big hits in the city in that it won’t be elbow to elbow, though will likely be impossible to get reservations. Macdonald, the cool-headed, cooler-accented savant, runs show, with he and the chefs working on the next dish just beyond the bar, giving diners a show to watch these picturesque pieces come to life.

Yuzu,Honey,Pearl Barley

While there is a potential up charge offering with a bread and cheese course, with a visual impact of the chef lighting a section of the box on fire to warm the food, the tasting menu is almost entirely sweets. Combine this with the sugar in the wine, champagne, and cocktails, and it certainly adds up to a cheat day if there ever was one. Those looking to have that healthy cleanse before the holiday season, beware.

For an elegant, underground, refined sampling of desserts that won’t give you a sugar headache, the pricing is incredibly affordable in comparison to other tasting menus too. Clocking in just below $150 for two people with drinks, it’s particularly reasonable for that third date crowd. Cocktails are also available a la carte, if champagne or aged ports aren’t for you.

Overall, the restaurant has all the makings of the New York scene’s greatest hits: a cool location, underground setting, helpful, knowledgeable staff, and desserts you’ll always be wanting seconds. With reservations already filling up, now’s the time to do desserts first for this meal.

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