On Friday evening, Cronut master Dominique Ansel flipped a switch on the second floor of his new Dominique Ansel Kitchen in the West Village and a table descended from the ceiling. The table dropped for the first edition of U.P. (it stands for Unlimited Possibilities), Ansel's new eight course-tasting only, weekend only, dessert and cocktail spectacle. Interested in checking it out? Here's what you need to know:
1. The inaugural menu is titled "first memories last forever" and it's all about firsts: First jobs, first kisses, first heartbreaks. Ansel and his team are taking this to the extreme. That first kiss course is sip-able — either from a stubbly or smooth bowl, depending upon who your first kiss was with:
Our "First Kiss" dish on the U.P. menu is served in beautiful bowls by @foodjetaime - one that is a smooth ladies' cheeks, and a stubbly one to represent men's cheeks, depending on who you're kissing. There's a mint panna cotta surprise at the end (because every first kiss should be a French one!). And to match, a buttered popcorn rum and coke, a throwback to your teenage days of making out in a movie theatre. #upfirst
And, if that doesn't paint a clear enough picture, the Wall Street Journal notes: "Getting to the final prize — a tiny portion of panna cotta — required a kiss of the so-called French variety." Plus, the cocktail to go with it — a buttered popcorn rum and coke — "is a throwback to your teenage days of making out in a movie theatre," says Ansel.
2. But, before diners get started on those "firsts" there are baby veggies set on the table, sans silverware for snacking:
3. The first job course — made of nougat and praline — looks like Tetris. (Perhaps, because that's how people slacked off at work in the '90s).
In reality, it's supposed to be more of a bar graph that represents life at that phase:
4. Early reports indicate that Ansel is in the house, helping assemble plates before diners' very eyes. He's also available for selfies:
5. Tickets are about as hard to come by as Cronuts in the early days. The 48 tickets for each weekend are sold on Mondays at noon, seven weeks in advance — and this week they were all sold out 90 minutes in. They're exclusively on Tock for $85, plus $35 as a drink supplement. So far, Eater hasn't spotted any on the black market, but Cronuts did pretty well there....
Can't make it? Here's a video of the dishes