Friday, June 24, 2011

Desserts are Serious Business at Restaurant Eugene

Some restaurants treat dessert like an afterthought.  Not here.  Chef Linton Hopkins works closely with Pastry Chef Aaron Russell to ensure that just as much attention is given to the meal's finish, as to every other part.
Pastry Chef Aaron Russell delivers three and five course dessert tasting menu's every night at Restaurant Eugene.
As always, a fine dish begins with fine ingredients.  “My favorite is cooking with fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, fresh herbs,” says Russell, as he brings a blowtorch to a Ras el hanout (a Moroccan spice blend infused) crème brûlée, just one of the dishes on his dessert tasting menu.  His love for seasonal fruits and ingredients follows the philosophy of the restaurant; his menu is constantly changing depending on what is freshest and best.  Currently on the menu: a lavender lemonade soda, peach-chardonnay sherbet, and a phenomenal citrus shortbread, all made with fresh, in-season ingredients straight from farms throughout the Southeast.

Caramel Ganache at Restaurant Eugene.
In addition to freshness and seasonality, Russell's desserts bring tremendous sophistication. There are things on the tasting menu that you will not see in other places. The kabocha mousse is made with a Japanese squash that many liken to pumpkin, but that is freshest in the summer, and his crème brûlée is laced with Ras el hanout, a Moroccan spice blend popular across Northern Africa.  “Ras el hanout” translates from Arabic to “top of the shop,” a term the refers to its use of top shelf spices.

Recently, Restaurant Eugene and Chef Russell have introduced both three- and five-course dessert tasting menus. They are available every night of the week, and come with optional pairings. The intention of the tasting menus is to show dessert’s versatility, as well as to elevate dessert to the same highly regarded level as the rest of the restaurant's offerings. Says Chef Russell, “it is not often that a restaurant’s owner regards its dessert service as seriously as the rest of the dining experience. Chef Hopkins’ energetic pursuit of excellence in every facet of this business is manifest in these tasting menus.” 

Green Apple Sorbet with Buckweat Strussel.
Dessert Tasting Menu's are available every night.  Stop by to try them by themselves or as the sweet finish to a divine dinner.

1 comment:

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