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New menu critique

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone, I would like to post the new fall menu I've started this week and am looking for a critiqie of it. I don't really have anyone to bounce ideas off of these days, the chef is too busy and the rest of the staff is scared of me for some reason :-)
Just thought I would put it out there if anyone is interested. The descriptions are for the servers as they don't like to take notes when I go over all the new dishes for them. So I thought while I was at it I would post it up for a more objective critique. Enjoy.
What about the prices? Look ok?
Sorry for my crude grammar and spelling.
2006 fall menu


Gingerbread and poached Pear beggars Purse with honey carmel and Roquefort cream 8.

A layer of pear gingerbread cake topped with spiced pear butter and a date stuffed vanilla and orange poached seckel pear . This is wrapped in a buttered sheet of Feuille de Brik dough and tied off with a thinly sliced vanilla bean. The plate is sauced with a Roquefort crème anglaise and dots of honey carmel.

Panko Crusted apple cranberry strudel with caramel apple ice cream cider reduction and Star anise sabayon. 10.

A classically prepared apple and dried cranberry strudel. The apples are wrapped in a vanilla crepe before rolling up in the strudel dough. The strudel itself is coated with butter and panko bread crumbs, liberally coated with powdered sugar and cooked in a hot oven to caramelize the sugar. The strudel is served with a julienne of macoun apple, carmal apple ice cream and sauced with a apple cider reduction and chilled star anise sabayon.
The strudel is garnished with spun sugar and apple chips.

Crispy English toffee bread pudding with Tahitian vanilla ice ceam 8.

A layered custard based bread pudding studded with macadamia toffee, this a coated with sugar and carmalized in the oven. The pudding is garnished with a sugar macadamia spike and a striped chocolate spiral, sauced with a Wild Turkey butterscotch sauce and served with Tahitian vanilla ice cream in a chocolate cup.

Banana split Moderne 10

A caramelized banana “napoleon” served with house made toasted marshmallow strips.
Vanilla and Mexican chocolate ice cream and strawberry foam. The dessert is garnished with puff pastry cigarettes, chocolate cigarettes and sauced with pomegranate molasses and honey reduction.

Walnut and Seckle pear walnut torte with a pomegranate pear coulis and pumpkin ice cream 9.

Vanilla roasted Bartlett pears baked into a layer of bitter chocolate walnut torte, this dessert will be served with a chocolate pattern on the plate filled with the pomegranate and pear coulis, pear chips, chocolate curly spirals and a quenelle of pumpkin ice cream.

Gypsy Caravan 10.

Made after the installation of the gypsy caravan in the restaurants courtyard, this dessert consists of layers of rich chocolate cake washed with Godiva white chocolate liquor. Between the 3 cake layers are layers of bitter chocolate cream and whipped milk chocolate ganach.
(We are using the Cluizel chocolate exclusively in this dessert) The rectangle of cake will be elevated on a halved strawberry and have a tuile cookie caravan on either side, it will be “drawn” across the plate by a chocolate horse on a chocolate path with raspberry coulis cobble stones. The dessert will be garnished with a mint pistachio bubble sugar “bush” and a Cognac truffle “boulder”.

Pumpkin and white chocolate cheesecake with gingerbread Florentine 8.

This dessert consists of a scoop of pumpkin and white chocolate swirled cheesecake served in a almond Florentine fluted cup. This will sit on top of a small mould of quince and Kabocha squach confit. The dessert will be garnished with white chocolate, pumpkin chips and a thin gingersnap funnel cake tuile.

Lunch/Kafe Kabul

Crème brulee 6
Chocolate mousse cup 6
Sour cream apple pie with oatmeal cinnamon streusel 6
White chocolate and pumpkin cheesecake 6
Chocolate and pear walnut torte 6

Ice cream selection The everyday flavors not including specials and tasting menu stuff.
Tahitian vanilla
Mexican chocolate
Carmel apple
Spiced pumpkin.

Sorbet selection
Absolutely Concord (Concord grape with vodka)
Candied ginger
Cranberry Pear
Fluctuat nec mergitur
Fluctuat nec mergitur
post #2 of 4
WOW! I'd show up just for desserts.
cooking with all your senses.....
cooking with all your senses.....
post #3 of 4
Great! Two observations.

I get what you're trying to do with the Panko crusted streudel, but what does Panko add? Customers may get a little confused.

Take out one of the walnuts in the walnut torte, ie., Seckle Pear Walnut Torte or something.

You probably have a good feeling about the prices where you work. Adjust accordingly. 20% margins on dessert are better than zero margins.
post #4 of 4
Your menu is a real delight: usually when I look at dessert menus there is at least one choice that can be safely skipped over, but all of yours are creative, imaginative and very appealing.

I love your use of seasonal pumpkin/squash; sweet pumpkin dishes are very much a feature of southern African cooking, but in the UK (where I live now) they are still regarded with deep suspicion!

I was a bit nervous of the Roquefort crème anglaise; but on reflection I can see that if the gingerbread has an intense gingery flavour this probably works really well, along the lines of eating cheese and fruit cake together. I must try it now!

The toffee pudding sounds great - is this served hot or cold? I'm fussy, and insist on a hot plate for a hot pudding, which doesn't suit a chocolate cup particularly well.

British people are faddish beyond belief when it comes to food, so I'm always aware of ingredients and the balance of a menu; four or five of the seven dinner choices seem to be wheat-based and perhaps only one is wheat-free, so I'd probably like to see something wheat-free but utterly gorgeous to contrast with them - maybe a luscious, intensely-flavoured brulee or panna cotta studded with bitter cherries, or a pavlova with autumn berries or praline cream. My only other very minor observation is that, although you've created a brilliant seasonal menu, there seems to be quite a lot of pear at the expense of other fall fruits.

I'm having a lot of fun trying to visualise the plates - it would be wonderful to see photos of one or two of these attractive and delightful dishes.
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