"I have the simplest tastes. I am simply satisfied with the best." - Oscar Wilde

"I came, I saw, I ate." - Au Gourmand

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Bottega Falai (Macarons) - April 27, 2011

Mr. Falai is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, when it comes to macarons.
The tasting of macarons was trampled ominously by the fiendishly detestable chocolate rhum. Had I been my usual cautionary self in getting only one macaron to start (so I would not be stuck with a dozen of unwanted and undesirable macarons staring forlornly at me every time I opened the refrigerator), then I would have only met Mr. Hyde since chocolate rhum was my first choice. The black casing was unyielding and plastic with a shockingly unpleasant taste of melted plastic to match. Is this some kind of a joke? It was licorice. Blue and red make purple, as we all know, but in Mr. Hyde’s kitchen, obviously chocolate and rhum make licorice. Compared to the shell, the meek ganache was tasteless either of rhum or chocoalte.

Dr. Jekyll, however, immediately came to ameliorate the harm done by Mr. Hyde. The rose macaron gently crumbled and released the heady, intoxicating aroma of rose. Certainly, the macaron was not perfect - the butter cream was slightly runny and messy – but the pure delight of the rose and the exquisite shell made me figuratively and literally close my eyes to the other minor annoyances of the macaron, and also, life. This was as close to Pierre Hermé as you will get outside of France.
Closely following in the footsteps of rose, the pistachio was bright with a shot of the red, sweet and refreshingly sour strawberry gelée in the center, which provided visual and textural contrast, which reminded me of Pierre Hermé’s Ispahan macaron - rose and litchi macaron with raspberry gelée - in construction and spirit.

Earl grey lemon
 Then, Mr. Hyde struck again. The chocolate spice was again fortified in a deadened shell and lacked any spice to speak of, while the earl grey lemon had runny and messy lemon curd oozing and greasing the flavorless shell.

Black truffle; Chocolate spice
Nonetheless, in the end, Dr. Jekyll had won with the black truffle macaron with its magical, mesmerizing perfume of black truffle and airy shell. It was an answer to my inner musing of the potential of truffles in sweets.

Bottega Falai
Address: 267 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012
Phone: I was told to call Caffe Falai at 212- 274-8615.

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