[Photograph: Niko Triantafillou]

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.


402 West 43rd Street, New York NY 100361 (map)

About the author: Native New Yorker Niko Triantafillou is the founder of DessertBuzz.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @DessertBuzz.

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