I may have stopped recapping Top Chef Just Desserts, but I continued to watch. The show actually got better as the drama went away, and viewers were able to get a glimpse at some extremely talented pastry chefs. The wide range of skills they have is incredible, from wedding cakes, to edible dresses, these chefs are pretty inspiring.
Zac Young is amazing and makes creative, delicious desserts. He will definitely be getting my “fan favorite” vote:-) Lucky for me, he happens to work at a New York City restaurant, Flex Mussels. When one of my best friends from college was visiting last Friday, who also also happens to be a huge Zac fan from the show, I had the perfect opportunity to visit the restaurant!
Flex Mussels has a wide variety of seafood dishes, along with over a dozen varieties of mussels. They also have a chicken dish which was perfect for my seafood-hating friend. The restaurant has a trendy vibe and is reasonably priced in the nice NYC-restaurant category.
A group of 5 of us went to the Upper East Side location for a 9:30 reservation. The place was packed which led to slightly slow service, but the food was so good we didn’t care. Matt and I shared the goat cheese salad plus two varieties of mussels: Italiano and Maine. I really enjoyed the food, but honestly, was saving room for dessert.
Unfortunately, Zac was in the kitchen at the other location that night, but the desserts were still designed by him so I was ok with that. Besides, it gives me an excuse to try the restaurant again.
The five of us decided to choose one donut each and have the waiter choose a sixth for us. He picked salted caramel and I am glad he did! It had a surprisingly complex flavor. My selection was fluffernutter and my friends picked blueberry, meyer lemon, chocolate and peanut butter and jelly. The donuts were the perfect ratio of filling to pastry, a taste of each in every bite. They came warm and fresh with a side of some sort of creamy glaze.
Of course we also had to try Zac’s famous deep fried whoopie pie.
O.M.G. I now wish I had a deep fryer. This was not the boring whoopie pie I have had in the past. It was moist and flavorful chocolate cake sandwiched with cream cheese icing that oozed out as soon as I sliced it. The crispy outer layer was delicious and added a great balance of textures. I’m not even sure what all of the sides were but I think the big scoop was coffee ice cream.
We may have shared this around the table, but I managed to take an extra piece for myself. It was too good to leave behind:-) Definitely one of the top five restaurant desserts I have ever had.
Overall, it was a great night at Flex Mussels. We all left full of delicious food and Matt and I resolved to go back for more mussels and dessert and hopefully catch Zac!
Have you ever met any famous chefs? Did their food live up to your expectations?