Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bits and Morsels makes FroYo at Nobu 57

Freeze dried berries to top the FroYo at Nobu 57.

Recently, I went to Nobu 57 for dinner. I’m a big fan of the restaurant because they make it easy to eat smartly. So many restaurant meals begin with bread baskets and end with heavy desserts that are hard for all of us to resist.

My regular Nobu morsels comprise edamame with sea salt, two sushi rolls and cod with vegetables (and multiple cups of green tea). It’s all pretty light. I don’t usually do dessert, but on this night I was craving a little something. The waiter suggested I try their frozen yogurt.

Nobu 57 Pastry Chef, Gabriele Riva.
The homemade FroYo is served with fresh strawberries, blueberry sauce and crunchy caramelized sesame seeds. I am not a yogurt regular (I mean, who can resist ice cream), but this was delicious. It was creamy yet light; a tad bit tart, but not too sweet. I split it with my dinner date and we felt pretty darn good about dessert.

A week after my run-in with the FroYo, I still could not get it out of my head. So, I called up Nobu 57 and they graciously extended an invitation to meet their pastry chef and take a look around the kitchen.

I love looking around the kitchens of first-rate restaurants, especially in New York where space is such a premium. Nobu 57's interior is substantial yet sleek with a smaller-than-you-would imagine kitchen, relative to the scores of diners they feed. Gabriele Riva is the pastry chef for the Nobu restaurants in New York and L.A., as well as a consulting chef for all other Nobu locations.

Before coming to New York, he was the pastry chef at Nobu in London. Gabriele is originally from Italy and his father is also a pastry chef. He is vastly talented, charismatic, and surprising (for me anyway) health-conscious. He is passionate about his desserts and is always contriving new recipes.
Entering Nobu 57. The long sushi bar.
In addition to giving away his frozen yogurt secrets, he made a dairy-free cheesecake with spelt crumble and a side of cashew berry butter. As someone who knows cheesecake too well, this was an upstanding version.

Between the Winter Olympics, First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative to reduce child obesity, and Bill Clinton's candor about his poor eating habits, and as a result, his recent heart surgery, there are many reasons to change your diet, too. It’s time.

Nobu 57 & Gabriele Riva
40 West 57th Street
Some of the ingredients for Nobu 57's FroYo. Toasted sesame seeds and sugar being weighed.
Counterclockwise from top: The yogurt is churned in this machine; The frozen yogurt; Fresh strawberries as a base for the yogurt.
Fresh berries, blueberry sauce and caramelized black sesame seeds as a base for the frozen yogurt. The FroYo.
One of Gabriele's new recipes: avocado ice cream. Mochi, ice cream with a rice flour coating chocolate espresso, coconut and passion fruit.
Vegan cheesecakes before they are plated. Vegan cheesecake with cashew berry butter.
Fast-food breakfast sales are down due to rising unemployment. Since fewer people are going to work in the morning, fewer people are rushing to buy fast-food breakfasts (eggs and sausage make for cheap proteins). "Breakfast sales at McDonald's accounted for about a quarter of its revenue but 35 percent of its profit." [Washington Post]

Apparently the kitchen can be one
of the most heated rooms in a household. Many fights that usually represent larger issues are triggered by trivial matters like whose turn it is to load the dishwasher. [WSJ]

If you are craving cupcakes ... Magnolia Bakery just opened a branch in Grand Central Station. I’m not a huge cupcake fan but it certainly makes for a convenient location. [Zagat]
Duane Reade recently started selling sushi. The reviews all say it’s edible but really, really bland. The sushi is machine-rolled and kept in a refrigerator all day. Personally, I would stick to the pretzels and rice cakes. [NY Post]

Until we eat again,
Jordana Z.

Comments? Contact Jordana here.
Follow NYSD Dining on Twitter.