Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Apple Thing & The Chocolate Thing

Tom, my Aunt Donna, Uncle Ben and I had dessert at the bar at The Harvest in Cambridge tonight. Brian, our med school student-bartender was excellent in all things barkeep. When I asked was was good for dessert his descriptions (albeit at the very end of service) were short and simple; The apple thing and the chocolate peanut crunchy thing. Nice!

Since I could see desserts waiting on the counter for delivery to another table I walked over to see if I could figure out what the apple thing was (it didn't really matter, I'd already ordered it.) Since it really was the very end of service, the kitchen peeps started coming to the front of the house as I was grilling the bartender for more info on "the apple thing" he pointed to a young woman and said "she'll know, she makes 'em." 

Indeed, pastry sous chef, Lindsey Mason, made the dessert and was able to explain that the proper name for the apple thing was "Roasted Apple Pain De GĂȘnes with Vanilla Cream and Apple Conserve" (which is on the Restaurant Week dinner menu only.) I can see where Brian might have struggled with the name (partial credit granted for the attempt!) 

My aunt and I chatted with Lindsey while our dessert was being prepared and she described the other dessert on the Restaurant Week menu the "Chocolate Peanut Crunch with Bourbon Cream, Sea salt & Cocoa Nibs" (aka the peanut crunchy.)

The "apple thing" cake (badly photographed below) was a blend of almond paste, flour, eggs and heaven with apples, a thin apple crisp, apple conserve and a dash of ice cream that was wee enough to be guilt free, but big enough to highlight each bite of the dessert. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
The "chocolate peanut crunchy" was completely unexpected; the layers were light (when I was expecting unpleasantly dense) and the peanuts were caramelized and subtle and perfect in every bite. Am I ashamed that I licked the plate? Not really. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

The Harvest is continuing the Restaurant Week menu through next week - so hop on the reservation line and ask for the awesome, informative and delightful Lindsey Mason when you go. You will not be disappointed!

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