They don’t sound like they would go together. But ice cream and caviar are the perfect match, said Aaron Silverman, chef/owner of Rose’s Luxury. “The salt versus the sweet is really nice, but then you have this really melting, luscious ice cream, with these pops and bursts of caviar on it,” he said. “It just works.”
He serves the combination in two of his restaurants: a coconut and caviar dish at Rose’s Luxury, and a sundae of truffle ice cream, caviar and gummy bears at Pineapple and Pearls.
Once a fusty luxury for the elite, caviar is becoming more accessible as chefs find more playful ways to showcase it. Yes, there are plenty of pricey Royal Ossetra trays with mother-of-pearl spoons and the traditional blini, onion, creme fraiche and egg. But these days, you’re as likely to see caviar in ice cream, a doughnut or even a burrito.
These creative takes are typically cheaper than full caviar service — so people who would ordinarily be priced out can have a small taste of (usually lesser-quality) fish eggs.
At Siren, one ounce of the Royal Ossetra costs $135. So chef Brian McBride offers a trio of savory caviar cookies, each a riff on a beloved treat: a Linzer cookie with trout roe, a macaron with Chataluga Prestige caviar, and a classic black and white cookie with American sturgeon caviar. At $20, the cookies are an affordable luxury. “It’s a nice bar appetizer,” McBride said. “It’s a little sweet, a little salty and a little decadent.”
One of the standout dishes at Poca Madre is “The King,” an over-the-top burrito with lobster, wagyu, truffled black beans, robiola cheese and a dollop of caviar. To further the highbrow-lowbrow connection, it’s served on a commemorative Elvis plate. Some might balk at a $32 burrito, but think of it this way: You get a tortilla full of the fanciest ingredients for merely four times the price of Chipotle — and many more times the flavor.
Norma’s in New York’s Parker hotel serves a “Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata”: $200 for one ounce of Sevruga caviar, and $2,000 for 10 ounces. At Waypoint in Cambridge, Mass., caviar service comes with doughnut holes and buttermilk crema, a fancy take on a Boston cream doughnut, and Kinship in Washington pairs caviar with potato chips. If you happen to visit the south of France, you can get caviar sorbet from the glaciere Philippe Faur.
Silverman and Rose’s Luxury chef de cuisine Seth Wells developed their dish when they were experimenting with a savory riff on ile flottante, the French floating meringues. They top coconut ice cream with caviar and lime juice and present it in a coconut shell, over a bowl of uncooked black lentils (which, incidentally, are named beluga because they look like caviar).
Now they come with a warning. After one diner’s mistake, Silverman said, “one of the food runners came back and said, ‘We should probably tell people not to eat the lentils.’ ”
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