The orange blossom nougat ($7) from Gastro Bar at 35th was one of the most unique desserts I’ve ever had. Served in a martini glass, the bottom is fresh orange juice made into a syrup. It’s filled with chocolate mousse and brown sugar, finished with butter on top. Add on a dollop of whipped cream and then the final touch: pop rocks.
“My goal is to make people think and to make it a little bit whimsical,” chef John Walsh says. “It’s a little part of me that wants to have fun with the guest.”
Walsh, who has spent considerable time in Spain, has filled the restaurant with a Spanish-inspired and international tapas menu. The orange blossom nougat is just one of a few of Walsh’s “whimsical” creations. Currently in the works: a martini appetizer. “The idea is that you’re going to get a martini on a plate. It’s going to be on a plate but in oriental soup form,” Walsh says.
And it’s not just at work where Walsh makes these unique creations.
“I like to play around with my kids at home. I use agar and medicine dropper, flavor it with peanut butter and jelly, and it comes out looking like spaghetti. We have a little fun that way.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 31, 2012