You know those people who always say “Something good will come from this” after something really bad happens, like a robbery at your home or when someone steals your bicycle. “Well I am sure now you’ll get a new bicycle, one that you will like even more!” I always thought these people were full of it but maybe they’re on to something. I was upset after Luxee (RIP) closed a few months ago, since I really liked their taste in desserts – less sweet, plentiful use of dark cocoa etc… but from the ashes of Luxee comes the Dessert Truck’s brick’n mortar storefront, Dessert Truck Works.
If you aren’t familiar with Dessert Truck’s brilliant, original model here’s a primer. Essentially, they offered high-end plated desserts created by former pastry chefs at Le Cirque and sold them out of a truck for $5. As someone who loves this category, this is close to a perfect model to me, since it bypasses the expensive meal that you usually have to purchase in order to experience a dessert at say Le Cirque, for example. A dessert at Le Cirque may cost $10-14 but it really costs $80-150 since that is what it costs to have a meal there.
Anyway, the “Truck” ceased operations last year and now sits in the Smithsonian institution (well, not really but it should). Last week they finally opened Works on Clinton St. where they are trying to run a similar same model, sans truck, and offering plated desserts for $6.
For the plated desserts I tried the chocolate truffle cake with praline crunch and the brioche doughnut holes with Nutella filling. The truffle cake packed the strongest flavors of the visit. The cake had very rich, flavorful dark chocolate, particularly on top, and the praline crunch on the inside reminded me of the Oreo-cookie-like-crunch found in Carvel ice cream cakes (go here to see one of Carvel’s trippy TV ads from the 80′).
The brioche doughnut holes with Nutella filling were previously offered out of the truck but for some reason I never tried them. I have tasted many variations of this dessert in NYC and the unique thing about the Work’s version is that their dough is impossibly light and airy. You can hardly hold them as they cave in on themselves. They are so light, I recommend ordering a second (or 3rd or 4th) dessert if you want to feel really full. These are served piping hot and are perfect for the cold winter NYC is experiencing now. The tasty Nutella filling gets runny when heated so don’t expect a custard like thickness when you bit into them.
I also tried 3 different whoopie pies, mint chocolate chip, olive oil honey and thyme and double chocolate. As most of you who read this site know, I almost always gravitate towards the chocolate option when items come in multiple flavors. In this case, I really liked the honey and thyme. It just had a really unique flavor profile and the flavors were very subtle. I could have eaten a half dozen of these things (they would go great with some dessert wine). The whoopie pies were all very fresh tasting, and by fresh tasting I mean not dry which everyone knows is the kiss of death and very common in whoopie pies. The mint chocolate chip also had great flavors that I am not used to detecting in a whoopie pie.
When you visit, don’t worry about which of the 6 plated desserts to order or what’s most popular, just go with your gut. You will not be disappointed. Dessert Truck Works is located at 6 Clinton St. For a Google map go here.