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David Tamarkin tries the new desserts at The Bristol

It’s been a few weeks since I first tasted the Basque cake Amanda Rockman put on the Bristol’s dessert menu, and let me tell you something: The...

Photograph: Martha Williams

It’s been a few weeks since I first tasted the Basque cake Amanda Rockman put on the Bristol’s dessert menu, and let me tell you something: The pangs, they don’t go away. In the time since my meal, I’ve thought about Chris Pandel’s deceptively simple salads (a light and crunchy combination of sunchoke and chicory), as well as all the things he’s doing with goat. (One goat dish—a briny and savory ragu he puts over chitarra pasta—is better than the carpaccio, in which the mellow goat meat gets lost among stronger flavors like hazelnuts and guanciale). And I’ve thought about other dishes of Rockman’s: The supremely flaky scone she offers for brunch; a complicated (in a good way) and not entirely sweet (ditto) coffee-chestnut tart; a brilliant mash-up of ricotta cheesecake and crème brûlée that’s glassy on top, silky on bottom. But mostly, I’ve thought about that golden Basque cake, the middle of which is enriched with pastry cream and the top of which is strewn with candied walnuts. Rockman, who joined the Bristol last fall, is adamant about frequently changing her dessert menu (and in fact, by the time you read this, many of her desserts will be long gone). Lucky for me, the Basque cake is the one dish she plans on keeping around. 2152 N Damen Ave, 773-862-5555.

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