Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Dean & DeLuca: Fine New-York-style Pizzas and Pastries

Dean & DeLuca’s Rockwell branch is making New York proud, thanks to the beautifully blistered crust of their pizzas and their uber-moist cakes and pastries.

Dean & DeLuca is a prominent gourmet food chain dedicated to all things delicious. While the Rockwell branch offers a selection of bottled specialty items on sale, it really is more a restaurant.

The smoke and heat of Dean & DeLuca’s wood-fired brick oven work their magic in their pies, giving the thin crust a chewiness and char that go so well with the oozing mozzarella and acidic tomatoes. Their Margherita Parma is spruced up with Parma ham, a mound of arugula leaves drizzled with sweet balsamic vinegar, and finally topped with shavings of Parmigiano. It was lip smacking.

I’ve also tried the braised US Angus beef short ribs during a previous visit, which grew more delicious with every bite. I wanted to order it again but I had to force myself to try other items in their menu.

I thought they made a good attempt with their grilled cheese sandwich, which had a sweet note from the apple chutney. However, I’ve had better (hello, Wildflour).

What I thought was a miss was the gratinated baked oysters, which didn’t taste fresh.

Dean & DeLuca must have a pastry whisperer in the kitchen because their desserts were top-notch. The banana quinoa bread is perfect with coffee for breakfast. I loved the buttery sheets of their flaky kouign-amann. Their carrot cake was enticingly moist and nutty.

I do hope Dean & DeLuca brings in their full range of gourmet food items and make it easier for us to do our own deli dining at home. I also hope they would improve their spotty service. Their waitstaff were well-trained and attentive but the ones manning the takeout counter weren't fully acquainted with what was on their menu. I'm sure they could do better.

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