Talk about pretty!
Edwards Dessert Kitchen, a new tenant on North Washington Avenue’s restaurant row, is as much a ‘concept’ store as an eatery. Cheers for the renovation of a long-vacant building into a destination for the ’hood’s trendsters to strut (and slurp) their stuff.
Picture this: an interior showcasing pale brick arches lit by ceiling spots, rising above a polished wood floor and the window wall’s passing parade. Add in a curvaceous bar anchoring a high-style setting of purple velvety chairs and matte-black lounges, attended by cocktail tables for your Tattersall-spiked designer beverage (cocktails $12; wine and beer, too).
If you’re an “eat dessert first” kind of person, step right in. (After all, what’s the point of supping righteously on skimpy salads when you could be hit by a bolt of lightening before you next step on the scale? Might as well enjoy your last few bites on earth.) If that’s not your style, nip over after a meal elsewhere, or après-performance, for the evening’s grand finale. But if you crave a take-home treat, I’ll be honest: You’ll find equally good quality (and in some cases, better) — and more friendly pricing — elsewhere. (Patisserie 44 and Rustica, I’m talking about you.)
Will EDK have a future as rosy as its strawberry-red wine sorbet? You tell me.
Meanwhile, I’ll tell you. Bars and cookies ($5 each) range from mole-spiked brownies to a salted butter (i.e. regular, right?) chocolate chunk cookies — buttery and boasting a nice crumb but, frankly, generic. The curried scotcheroo involving mango and cashews is a chocolate-frosted improvement on a Rice Krispie bar. A caramel and five-spice snickerdoodle was generic in taste and texture, similar to what comes out of my own oven.
Maybe you crave a pudding ($10)? The mocha tiramisu employs a chocolate cake base as its twist, along with the addition of bergamot. Fine, but not life-altering. Didn’t try the vanilla-bean mousse yet, but the miso caramel pudding, with its infusion of soy into the mixture, and set upon a black sesame sponge, to me (and I emphasize that this is a highly personal reaction) was so off-tasting that I couldn’t finish it.
House-made ice creams ($10, meant for sharing) again proved just fine but not better nor more unusual than many another elite venue’s, either in quality or flavor profiles. (This time I’m calling out Sebastian Joe’s and World Street Kitchen’s frozen-goodies annex.) The blackberry-raspberry crumble delivered sweet, fruity swirls embedded in vanilla, while the avocado-lime sorbet (I had high hopes) proved overwhelmingly strong on the citrus part of the equation.
The menu section called “In our Case” highlights five signature selections ($10 each), and they fare best of all. A hazelnut-chocolate mousse number is attended with rich chocolate sable awakened with a pleasant hazelnut praline crunch, while the hands-down winner of the list (and entire menu) is a tender creampuff filled, gloriously, with a suave and captivating mango-coconut cream and a whiff of lemongrass.
There’s also a menu section entitled “Made Just for You” (the others weren’t? $15), featuring a summertime tasting assembly of melon pavlova, stone fruit/cherry tart, yuzu curd and baba au gin, which sounds promising. You’ll find a cheese plate here, too.
More savories: A quartet ($10) includes a vegetable quiche, a tartine based on sourdough rye, a ham and gruyere panino and gougere, those savory creampuffs, here filled with smoked salmon and cream cheese mousse.
EDK’s open kitchen is in the hands of pastry chef Christina Kaelberer, who studied at the Art Institutes International Minnesota and served as pastry chef of the former Chambers Kitchen, among other positions. Give her a smile as you step up to the counter.
200 Washington Ave. N.