“We’re going to make you something.” Sarah Obraitis of M. Wells Dinette said to me last week. I’d just consumed a decadent plate of boudin blanc, with scallops and sweetbreads along with an herb salad. I mumbled a refusal thinking the only thing I could possibly eat was a wafer thin mint à la Mr. Creosote. “This is the type of thing you get at Le Bernardin,” she continued brightly. “It’s inspired by soap candy that Hugue ate as a kid in Canada.” Sarah walked away leaving me to ponder the notion of soap candy.
The wild ginger parfait ($12) is served in a snifter filled with a soapy looking foam, poached blueberries, and a granola like substance the menu calls “oat crumble.” A purple wafer of dehydrated apricot perched atop the overflowing foam. It’s one of the stranger desserts I’ve ever seen. For a moment I considered spiriting it away to one of MoMA PS 1’s upstairs galleries. Then I dug in. The foam tasted nothing at all like detergent and was scented with wild ginger. Digging down into the snifter I brought up spoonfuls of sweet blueberries and granola. It was entirely delicious in a very summery way, just slightly more filling than a wafer thin mint. Best of all, it tasted nothing at all like soap. A quick Google search reveals that soap candies actually do taste like soap. When it comes to weird candy I’ll stick with salty licorice.
M. Wells Dinette, MoMA PS1, 22-25 Jackson Ave at 46th Ave., Long Island City, 718-786-1800