The informal definition of "crush" is "one who is the object of an infatuation." But it's so much more than that--it's that feeling you get in the presence of your crush. It consumes you. It gives you an impulse to ride your bike by their house...just in case they happen to be around.
And I'm crushing really hard on the Dessert Thali at Seattle restaurant Poppy; it's the creation of Dana Cree, whom I suspect is some sort of pastry and confectionery genius.
What is a Dessert Thali, you may be wondering? Well, in case you missed its recent shout-out as the Best Dessert Date in Seattle, here's the article's well-put overview:
A large tray arrives at your table loaded up with one of Cree's main desserts (say, her warm orange-rhubarb shortcake or the, haha, hot date cake), plus a scoop of ice cream (mango lassi, sassafras, neapolitan) and a host of bite-sized things, including candied nuts, fruit gelées, chocolate truffles, and an exquisite nutter-butter square with a crackly caramel topping.
Oh, it's a sexy dessert tray all right.
On the day we went, we personalized ours with the following:
First, the "Rocky Rose" ice cream, which was kind of a fancy take on Rocky Road, with a thick fudge topping and homemade marshmallows;
Then, a crumble consisting of roasted cherries topped with almond streusel and honey-lavender ice cream. This was an absolute standout: assembling it just moments before being served, apparently, is one of the secrets--each ingredient maintains its own flavor and texture "identity"--coming together beautifully without becoming soupy.
Various other little bites were served alongside the main attractions: little lemon cream puffs; cumin cashews; apricot pâtes de fruits (translation: fancy fruit jellies); and some absolutely tantalizing Nutter butter squares, which were crispy and sweet and salty all at once, andwith a crowning glory of thick caramel, completely addictive.
..and, we were treated to a sneak preview of something Dana is working on for an upcoming event. Not going to give away too much, but it was good.
Honestly, I couldn't imagine a more delightful way to serve dessert. With a sampler like this, you still have some choice in the matter--but it also gives you an opportunity to try some tiny bites of unexpected desserts; there's also a certain drama that comes with having this platter full of sweets glistening like little jewels being delivered to your table. It's one of those dishes that all the other diners tend to turn to see as it goes by.
Want a piece of this sweet action? Poppy is located at 622 Broadway East, Seattle (206) 324-1108; you can check them out online at poppyseattle.com. For more on the lovely and amazing Dana Cree, check out this article and stay tuned for other new developments!