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Dominique Ansel Plans Tasting Menu Pairing Cocktails and Desserts

By Danielle Tcholakian | January 19, 2015 7:26am | Updated on January 20, 2015 7:10pm
 Cronut king Dominique Ansel wants to serve alcohol at his new restaurant, which will not offer Cronuts.
Cronut king Dominique Ansel wants to serve alcohol at his new restaurant, which will not offer Cronuts.
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WEST VILLAGE — Dominique Ansel is cooking up cocktail and dessert pairings for his new bakery-themed restaurant in the West Village.

The Cronut king is applying for a liquor license for his new venture at 137 Seventh Ave. South, known in paperwork as Innovation Kitchen LLC, in the hopes of adding cocktails to his planned $65-per-person dessert testing menu.

The six-course meal, composed entirely of dessert items, will only be served at a special chef's table in the evenings after the main cafe, called Dominique Ansel Kitchen, closes at 7 p.m.

"It's really to show a new level of desserts," said Ansel spokeswoman Amy Ma.

A sample tasting menu presented to Community Board 2 last week would start with a dish titled "Bread and Butter," made from yeast ice cream and brown butter mousse, paired with a "milkshake" cocktail of mezcal, lemon blossom, honey and egg whites.

Other items on the sample tasting menu included: a rhubarb carpaccio paired with a carbonated gin float of strawberry and rose sorbet; Fromage Blanc Ile Flottante (Floating Island) "Alphabet Soup Style" paired with Riesling granita; a shiso sorbet palate cleanser; a "modern Crepe Suzette" paired with a cocktail of cognac, sugar, lemon and champagne; a warm chocolate financier paired with a shot of creme de cacao, coffee and angostura bitters; and a bittersweet chocolate praline cake paired with port topped with apricot whipped cream.

The tasting menu would conclude with tiny petit four cakes accompanied by coffee or tea.

The chef's table, with room for eight to 10 people, will be located on the second floor of the bakery near the kitchen. It will be open for two seatings from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m., and reservations will be required. The price for the cocktails accompanying the tasting menu has not been set.

The larger 36-seat cafe on the first floor will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and will serve made-to-order food based on "the idea of freshness," with chocolate mousse folded to order and cookies baked every half hour, Ma said.

There will not be any Cronuts.

"Our team is very talented," Ma told members of Community Board 2's liquor licensing committee at a meeting Thursday night. "We want them to have a way to not make Cronuts everyday, to really develop their skills."

Ansel won begrudging support from the CB2 committee, despite longstanding frustration over the lines outside his SoHo bakery and concerns that those lines will follow him to his new spot.

"I think a lot of people would agree that it's an affront that you have a line taking up the sidewalk," said committee chair Carter Booth. "And I still don't know why you need to serve alcohol. This area has been identified by elected officials as being over-saturated."

Ma responded that the lines outside Ansel's Spring Street bakery are only there because of the Cronut, so she does not expect to see them at his new restaurant.

The committee ultimately gave advisory support for Ansel's liquor license, as long as the downstairs cafe, including a 26-seat outdoor section, closes at 7 p.m. and the front door is never kept open after 9 p.m.

Dominique Ansel Kitchen is expected to open in the spring.