If you’ve been to Mollusk on Dexter, or its boutique predecessor Gastropod (late of SoDo), you know that chef Travis Kukull isn’t interested in culinary conventionality. Unrestrained innovation happens here, in all kinds of Asian accents—and nowhere so much as dessert.
Go for something like the Chinese 5-spice cobbler (pictured here) if you’re playing it safe; the wackiest it gets is golden raisins, toasted macadamia, maple streusel, Vietnamese coriander. Oh, and bayleaf-ginger ice cream.
That's child’s play compared to the cookie list. The night of our visit it included pinwheels made of whiskey-cherry jam and chiles. Spritz cookies made of almonds, butterscotch, and the nuanced sweet-spicy Cape curry. The aforementioned beet-almond meringues, the aforementioned rosemary-blue cheese shortbreads. A peanut butter cookie deepened with sweet-salty hoisin—which held so much subtler intrigue than the standard peanut butter cookie I may be ruined for the ordinary version from now on.
Not so much? The chocolate chip cookie with caramelized onion, thyme, walnut, and black olive.
Oh, you heard me.
An onion olive chocolate chip cookie. Sheer perversity made me order it; discriminating taste made me stop eating after two bites. The onion was caramelized, at least.“Troubling,” I wrote in my notes.
And the downside of unrestrained innovation.