BEST RESTAURANT FOR DESSERT - 2008
At Restaurant Levain and Auriga, pastry chef Khanh Tran developed a reputation for her creative contradictions, mixing crisp and creamy textures, or pairing savory flavors with sweet. Now that she's at Cosmos, the ultra-mod room seems an appropriate backdrop for her stunning, sculpture-like works. She might be serving a chocolate fig tart with smoked hot chocolate and white-pepper ice cream. Or a tiny tumbler of avocado custard, topped with a layer of lemon-thyme-basil gel and a dollop of buttermilk sorbet—sure, it sounds like a crazy concoction, but it tastes as pleasant as a sunny pasture. Of course, you can always stick with the classic Chocolate Globe, which is served on an edible pedestal. When it hits the table, the server pours warm chocolate sauce on top and the shell melts away to reveal brandied cherries and a cherry sorbet core. It's the kind of performance that's a pleasure to watch—and even better to eat.