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Pumpkin Cocoa Nib Crème Brulée with Candied Hazelnuts at Epic Roasthouse

Posted By I Love Pumpkins on December 16, 2008

Pumpkin Cocoa Nib Crème Brulee with Candied Hazelnuts

Pumpkin Cocoa Nib Crème Brulée with Candied Hazelnuts

Ingredients! Technique! Artistry! Jan Birnbaum is now my favorite chef. Not only has he assembled a delicious menu of steaks, salads and unique entrees like his molasses-glazed pork.. he’s got an amazing Pumpkin Crème Brulée that (hat-tip to his New Orleans inspired cuisine) will rock you like a hurricane.

On Sunday night Chudi N. and I treated ourselves to dinner at Jan’s restaurant Epic Roasthouse. It’s my favorite place to dine in the city, and I’ve been there five times now. Their prices are also close to ”epic” so that’s a lot of times! But the experience is worth the money: tall ceilings yet cozy atmosphere, the best aged and fresh meats and seafoods, plus elegant pumpkin desserts and great views!

After oysters, spinach salad, filet and porterhouse and a fun conversation with our neighbors from Dallas (“Fuck it… Merry Christmas!” I proclaimed to their delight) we enjoyed a complimentary dessert, on the house from Epic Roasthouse to I Love Pumpkins!

The Masters of Pumpkin Creme Brulee

Behind the Scenes with The Master

Our waitress Rachel even took photos from behind-the-scenes in the kitchen. Could this be Jan himself, shown above, doing up the dessert for us? Wow!! Jan and Rachel are totaly getting their own special-edition I Love Pumpkins t-shirts from T-Critic (which are in production… keep an eye out!).

Behind the Scenes at the Creme Brulee Foundry!

Not just a steak house... it's a Crème Brulée Foundry!

Using a crème brulée torch, Jan created a gorgeously thin, delicious caramel crust across the top of the dessert. It was like some dreamy pumpkin ice rink. The garnish decorating the top was lovely. The big chewy roasted hand made marshmallow was fun, the winter berries added dimension and some tartness, and the candied roasted hazelnuts dusted with powdered sugar piqued your interest and added variety. 

The Work of Art

The Work of Art

The Pumpkin Crème Brulée itself was consistent and creamy, without a single deviation in texture. That’s not easy to do! It tasted fresh and natural, and the pumpkin flavor was thorough without being too obvious. 

Thanks Jan, Rachel and the team at Epic for a delicious dinner at my favorite restaurant.

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