Café Nuovo

By JOHNETTE RODRIGUEZ  |  April 21, 2010

I enjoyed my choice of roasted chicken breast and boneless thigh ($24), crusted with hazelnuts and Rice Krispies (unfortunately, the tastes of both were lost in the sauce). The chicken sat atop and was surrounded by fingerling potatoes and Brussels sprouts, in a thyme au jus, with a flourish of dried blueberries adding a touch of sweetness.

Though we were all quite sated, we had to have the desserts listed to us. In addition to a vanilla bean crème brûlée and a mousse parfait, several desserts spotlight an ice cream or sorbet along with cake or fruit, such as the banana tart with cinnamon-cream cheese ice cream or the coconut cake with tropical fruit sorbet and a blood orange gelée.

We decided on the house-made ice cream and sorbet, four scoops: buttermilk and banana/berry ice creams and Key lime cheesecake and mango/passion fruit sorbet. I loved the sharp lime taste in that flavor. We all thought that the ice cream flavors weren’t very creamy, but we liked the tartness of the mango/passion fruit.

I appreciated Chef Hooks’s new directions, though I prefer food a little less fussy. But then, maybe that’s what celebrations are meant to be.

Johnette Rodriguez can be reached

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