Sugar Rush: Fluffernutter Budino at Esca
Esca's pastry chef Tracy Obolsky was recently nominated for a Food and Wine People's Choice award for best new Pastry Chef, and after trying one of her latest desserts, I can see why.
The fluffernutter budino ($9) consists of a thick but velvet-like banana pudding coupled with peanut brittle and salted caramel. There's also a large beehive-style swirl of meringue that's hand torched to order. The meringue plays the role of the marshmallow in the classic sandwich by the same name.
The banana pudding has a strong banana flavor and the texture goes well with the equally smooth salted caramel. The peanut brittle disrupts the smooth layers with a pleasant and decisive crunch.
To realize the most enjoyment from this dessert, Esca Executive Chef David Pasternack says, "make sure to get all four components on your spoon at once." I wholeheartedly agree.