Nevin Martell

The Dish: Violet Consommé

Price: $11 

Where to Get It: Kyirisan; 1924 8th St. NW, Ste. 140; 202-525-2383; kyirisandc.com 

What It Is: There is a whole lot going on in this dessert by pastry chef Mollie Bird, a veteran of Marcel’s and The Source. Starting at the center, there’s a quenelle of calamansi (a citrus variety) ice cream. A cassis crisp, which eats like a pork rind, according to Bird, stands up in the ice cream. Around the outside of the bowl are blueberry meringue shards, blueberries, blackberries, blackberry jam, Earl Grey tea noodles, and a cloud of foam made from a spiced citrus syrup used in cocktails called velvet falernum. A server will pour a regally purple consommé made with violet liqueur, violet extract, and a touch of cassis on the dish tableside. 

What It Tastes Like: Though I feared it would taste like a violet bath sachet, the floral element of the dessert is restrained and not at all cloying. Instead, the tartness of the calamansi and the berry components take the lead. The textural diversity adds another layer of complexity to the sweet soup. Bird has created a winning dessert that surprises and delights.

The Story: “I’m obsessed with violet and I wanted an excuse to eat it all the time,” Bird says. “These are all my favorite things that go with violet.” The dish has sold surprisingly well, especially with diners seeking something lighter. 

How to Eat It: Bird likes to “mix it all up and attack it violently,” but I take a more considered approach. It’s impossible to get every component in every bite since there are so many. Complicating the process is the fact that the noodles require a fork, while everything else can be eaten with a spoon. I have fun re-arranging which elements end up on my utensil, which creates the sensation of eating a series of desserts rather than just one.