If ever there was a fancy plated dessert that captures the essence of fall, Gotham Bar and Grill's Pumpkin Soufflé ($16) is it. But this dessert is about more than just pumpkin. Executive Pastry Chef Ron Paprocki cleverly incorporates a host of other ingredients that will make any diner nostalgic for the holidays.
Let's start with the perfectly executed soufflé. It's tiny, but each spoonful contains a delicate and airy mix of pumpkin, ginger, and cinnamon. As you work your way through the soufflé, you can see and smell the thick concentration of vanilla beans throughout.
The "secondary" components on the plate, like the espresso-infused dulce panna cotta, are as thoughtfully composed as the soufflé. Accompanying the soft panna cotta is a gingerbread cake and a crunchy pecan streusel for some crunch amid all the smoothness. A thick and slightly tart candied cranberry sauce helps to balance the sweeter components. The cranberry sauce is also swirled into the yogurt ice cream.
There you have it—all the flavors of fall packed into one neat dessert.
Though I'd be remiss not to also at least mention Ron Paprocki's Tarte Tatin ($28 for two), a masterpiece that's worthy of special dessert-only visit to Gotham Bar and Grill.
About the author: Native New Yorker Niko Triantafillou is the founder of DessertBuzz.com his photographs of desserts and pastry chefs have appeared in the Wall Street Journal and Dessert Professional Magazine. He is an unabashed foodie nerdling. Follow him on Twitter at @DessertBuzz.