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Restaurants & Bars

Manhattan

Chikalicious report

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Chikalicious report

susiederkins | Oct 9, 2003 12:22 AM

Chikalicious is a new-ish dessert bar on east 12th Street that recently celebrated it's two month anniversary. I've been about four times now and I haven't been able to get this place out of my mind.

The menu is a $12 prix fixe , consisting of an amuse, dessert, and petit fours. The roster of desserts offered changes weekly, with a variety of about 6-8. Often, if not too busy, they will offer you a little taste of something on a spoon while you peruse the menu.

Every item on the menu is skillfully prepared by either Chika or Donna, who work behind the bar in a careful, precise fashion. They seem to favor quenelles of sorbet or ice cream on nearly everything they make, but aside from that the desserts are highly varied. The emphasis seems to be largely on texture and clean flavors. Over the course of four visits I have had or tasted:

1. Marscapone semifreddo with espresso granita and lemon cake

2. Carmelized pear with kataifa and an ice cream I forget - peach cobbler taken to its apogee

3. Fromage-blanc "cheesecake" island - a beautiful white snowy mound of lightly sweetened cheese

4. Chocolate tart with red wine sauce and pink peppercorn ice cream

5. Parchment baked figs with thyme ice cream

6. Golden kiwi slices in a lemongrass soup and yogurt sorbet

Everything tasted as delicious as it sounds.

The best amuse I had from Chikalicious was a tomato gelee with a basil sorbet and sweet basil seeds - just about the pefect summer dessert. The confections offered as petit fours are more standard fare, either miniscule cookies, cream puffs, marshmallows, or truffles. They seem to save the sweetness for the end of the meal; none of the dishes I tried stuck me as the slightest bit sweet.

My only complaint is the small size of the portions, but this may be my gluttony speaking. Presentation, as well as the decor, is clean, modern, and elegant.

Everybody go and post their opinions of this place!

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