[Photo: Kathy YL Chan]

It starts with a single, sweet juicy fig poached in red wine. Chilled, halved, and perched against a tower of cool Toasted Almond Semifreddo ($10), it's the kind of dessert you crave in the late afternoon with a big sweater and mug of tea on the side. Only a tad sweet, with an undeniably creamy texture, the semifreddo base is dotted with bits of salt-kissed almond crumbs for the occasional nutty crunch. A finish of sugar-dusted browned almond slivers crown the top, some cascading off onto the quenelle of fresh fig sorbetto. Seriously, Karen DeMasco can do no wrong.

Locanda Verde

377 Greenwich Street, New York NY 10013 (map)

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