Everything, including possibly the staff, is tattooed with Todd English’s name at the chef’s lavish new food hall in the Plaza Hotel’s basement. There is no escaping Todd English, whether you’re contemplating a sandwich, a salad, a coffee mug, a tote bag, or, somewhat unnervingly, the chef himself. But English — who’s always looked more like a Bond villain than someone in the business of nourishment — has also slapped his name on an unexpectedly winning line of chocolate caramels.
Called, simply, Todd English Key Lime Caramels, they’re a more restrained cousin of the Swingle. A thin layer of semisweet chocolate enrobes a flat square of key lime goo and graham cracker crumbs, and the result is like a very small slice of key lime pie dipped in chocolate. The lime filling is smooth and tart, and it plays well with the crunch of the crumbs. The chocolate admirably performs its role, which is to keep everything from falling apart. Until, that is, it encounters outdoor temperatures, and begins melting immediately. But then for a certain kind of sweets fiend, half the fun of consuming such a treat is in licking it off one’s fingers. Or somebody else’s.
Because there are three to a pack, the caramels are all over the Fat Pants spectrum. One rates a mere pair of skinny jeans. Two merit the same pair, but with the top unbuttoned. And three, particularly if they’re eaten in rapid succession following a meal and/or a few drinks, call for both a pair of mom jeans and an emesis bag.
At $5, the key lime caramels are one of the cheapest things you can buy at the food hall. They’re well worth their price tag, though whether they’re worth braving the grim tide of relentless self-promotion may be a more subjective matter.
The Plaza Food Hall (by Todd English)
1 West 58th Street