Best Thing We Ate

Best Thing We Ate: Beignets at Salty Sow

By Megan Giller  |  February 10, 2014

On February 27, the team at the Salty Sow will head to New York City to cook at the James Beard House, and last week they previewed their menu for a full house. Chef Harold Marmulstein coursed and timed the down-home-meets-upscale meal perfectly. We liked the savory courses, especially the Berkshire pork tenderloin with white corn grits and bacon-apple chutney, but it was the cheese course (baked housemade ricotta with butternut squash, pumpkin seeds and reduced balsamic) and the dessert that really got us.

Donuts are so trendy that restaurants have started distinguishing themselves as upscale by calling their fried desserts “beignets,” but in this case, we were happy to follow the trend. The plate reminded us of another one in town, the Bananas Foster Cake at Eddie V’s, a restaurant once upon a time also part of the Larry Foles and Guy Villavaso family (Marmulstein sniffed at this suggestion, though, assuring us that his was better).

But back to the beignets at hand. Inside the fluffy fried dough was a layer of cream cheese and banana slices, which, when paired with the nutmeg ice cream (think egg nog) became unreal. In fact, the nutmeg ice cream was such a big hit that it led our table into a discussion of how nutmeg and other spices used to be used as currency. After eating all of this particular dessert, we now understand how that worked.