Charlie Palmer: Just Desserts

by Jennifer Iannolo

When it comes to decadent desserts, there is no better place to indulge your palate than at Aureole in New York. Chef Charlie Palmer has crafted an award-winning reputation with his signature “Progressive American Cuisine,” which combines classic European cooking with American artisanal products and small farm producers.

One thing that struck me while visiting Charlie’s kitchen was the parade of gorgeous desserts that passed me on their way to the dining room. I had to go down to the pastry kitchen and take a peek at the action. Pastry Chef Tony Aiazzi has a consuming passion for finishing a meal with flair, and sent me to heaven with his trio of creme brulee. Dessert plates are personalized for those celebrating a special day, and the plates are so beautiful it makes you hesitant to disturb their delicate beauty. But this sentiment quickly passes. Life is short.

When I asked Charlie what dessert meant to him, and how it came to be so important at Aureole, he had this to say:

“I think of dessert as a piece of the puzzle that helps to create a perfect meal. When it’s done the right way, that final course is just as important as the first and main, and it’s often the last impression we’re able to leave our guests with, so the flavor is critical. And visually, dessert can be the most artistic part of the meal — the eye is enticed and suddenly there’s room for a little more, even if you’re full. One reason I really like offering a prix fixe menu, like we do at Aureole, is to make sure that our patrons experience a complete meal, dessert and all.”

And as if that isn’t enough, guests leave Aureole with a delicious goodie bag that contains a treat to be savored when one has recovered from such a sublime dining experience. Get thee to Aureole, and make haste.

To learn more about Charlie Palmer and his cavalcade of restaurants, visit www.charliepalmer.com. The site also contains recipes and gorgeous photos, with a side of jazzy music to enhance your exploration.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: