Sweet tooth alert! 😛
Every respectable gourmand in New York knows Dominique Ansel, a.k.a. the Cronut Master. If you’ve stood in line for a taste of the iconic pastry, and know what DKA stands for (Dominique’s Kouign Amann duh!), you’ve surely gotten excited about Dominique Ansel’s U.P., short for Unlimited Possibilities. U.P. is a dessert-only tasting-menu supper club, privately held on the second floor of Dominique Ansel Kitchen in the West Village
Tickets open on the 1st of every month at 12pm and sell out fast!
Launched in the summer of 2015, this after-hours dessert tasting table takes place in the production kitchen for an intimate 8-person seating (expect a predominantly feminine crowd!). The menu changes every six months and consists of eight sweet courses centered on a specific theme. More than a culinary experience, U.P. is an artistic performance.
Will not accommodate any dietary restrictions
After being courteously welcomed at the West Village bakery’s store front, you will be escorted up a private staircase into the production kitchen, where a table will theatrically descend from the ceiling into the center of the room. This “ooh-aaah” moment sets the tone for the entertainment ahead.
I was super excited to discover the “American Dream” theme that was on the menu. I skipped dinner and made sure to calorie-count every bite that day to be ready for the sugar overload. The eight desserts are ceremoniously served, each chronologically highlighting different decades of “American dreams”, along with a story line and appropriate background music. The friendly servers were practiced orators, and every dessert preparation was whimsical, colorful, playful and fun! You can tell a lot of thought and preparation went into conceptualizing this clever and creative menu.
Tech Boom – Most creative and fun: representing the Tech age, you had to insert a disc into a fake old computer and a waffle (sassafras, tonka bean ice cream, celery maple) would pop out of the machine – paired with Flaming “Dr. Pepper,” Belgian Wheat Ale, Amaretto, Rum.
At the end of the tasting, each guest goes home with a gift: a silver balloon with a secret fortune message inside and the menu tied at the bottom, as well as a coffee beverage to enjoy the following morning.
The tasting menu is not a cheap fare, priced at $112, including tax and service charges. A beverage pairing is available for a $45 extra, with specially crafted wine and cocktails by a collaboration between mixologist Jim Meehan of PDT and the Dominique Ansel team.
All ticket sales are final
So did the overall dessert and cocktail spectacle live up to the high gourmande expectation? Sadly not. Although it is undeniable that the overall experience is unique, inventive and fun, my picky palate was disappointed in the quality of the dessert recipes. They try so hard to impress with the presentation and performance that it overshadows the flavor. Dominique Ansel has always been a synonym for deliciousness and a guaranteed treat, but the desserts at U.P. simply didn’t measure up to what Ansel has spoiled us with. To top it off the cocktail pairing was horrendous (and I like my liquor!).
Although disappointing from a gustatory perspective, Dominique Ansel’s Unlimited Possibilities is indisputably a unique concept for a one-of-a-kind dessert experience and unmatched sugar rush! U.P. deserves 4 ♥ for the experience, presentation and dedicated staff, but a mere 2 ♥ for the taste and gourmandise satisfaction…