Why fancy desserts can leave you high and dry

• They’re usually more of a feast for the eyes than the mouth
• The portions are “fun size”
• They always seem to come with a scoop of ice cream flavored with curry, 5 spice, or some other Iron-Chef-type flavor that’s more interesting in concept than execution

These desserts hail from CityZen, DC. Mr. X-sXe and I were big fans of the Sicilian pistachio mousse, presented cannoli-style. The cranberry sauce wasn’t something you’d think would go with pistachio, but it worked. We could’ve each put away another plate of these.

This pistachio mousse looked like Christmas on a plate.

I didn’t care as much for the chocolate tart with olive oil ice cream (it came with the tasting menu–probably not the dessert I would’ve picked, given a choice). The chocolate was too subtle; the olive-oil ice cream brought nothing to the party. I noticed the couple next to us barely touched theirs, so I’m not the only one who was underwhelmed by this dessert.

The small treats plate is to fancy joints what orange wedges/fortune cookies are to Chinese restaurants: that extra something that makes for a nice finish to a meal. Here, a chewy macaroon is flanked by a fruit jelly and Earl Grey chocolate. I’d take these over a fortune cookie any day.


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