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The Dish: Foieffogato
Where to Get It: BLT Steak; 1625 I St. NW; (202) 689-8999; e2hospitality.com/blt-steak-washington-dc
What It Is: Perhaps the most decadent and unconventional affogato of all time. The ice cream mimics the flavor of buttery movie-style popcorn, while the silky, froth-topped coffee component combines reduced espresso, cream, milk, and caramelized foie gras accented with fresh thyme, allspice, mace, and nutmeg. “You have to find a delicate balance between the ingredients,” says executive chef Will Artley. “You want to taste the foie and have the mouthfeel from it, but it can’t be overwhelming. If it lingers on your palate, it’s not great, especially since you’re not following it with another course.”
What It Tastes Like: The ice cream tastes exactly as advertised: a cold, creamy take on the Cineplex classic. The tastes of butter, popcorn, and a little salt are predominant, but the scoop is sweet, not savory. The super syrupy shot has deep brown sugar notes, while the thyme and nutmeg are the most predominant spices. Eaten together, it’s super rich, showcasing a sweet-savory-salty trifecta of outsized flavors. “Everybody says to me, ‘When weed is legal, you should open up a place downtown and just serve stuff like this,’” says Artley. “When I tell them I don’t smoke, they always say, ‘You should.’”
The Story: “I wanted to serve foie gras as a full-fledged dessert,” says the chef. “It’s funny, because I grew up not enjoying liver that much. Liver with onions and ketchup was the only thing my dad cooked. It still makes me…” he trails off and shivers, his tongue flicking out like he’s trying to excise a distasteful flavor from his palate. Artley created the foie-fortified espresso several years ago, while the ice cream came out of a recent vision to create an “experimental Ben & Jerry’s flavor.” He put the two dishes together as a single dessert because both were equally zany.
Photo by Nevin Martell