Posted on by Dawn Casale


It’s a term that you often hear from parents trying to grasp those bygone days before children entered the picture. The once in every six months that they actually pay a sitter to get a night on the town with each other and/or some friends, eat dinner later than 6pm, at a table that is visibly lacking chicken fingers or grilled cheese.

When friends and family advised us that once we had kids our lives would change beyond recognition, we thought of less sleep, more laundry and the occasional temper tantrum. The loss of the freedom to paint the town red did not really occur to us. Until it happened.  And once it did, I went into survival mode. I obviously loved my new baby but there was no way I was giving up my entire social life for him.

That was the beginning of our weekly date night and we have been religious about it for the past four years. We almost always see friends and enjoy a nice dinner, preferably in Manhattan (we love Brooklyn but the rest of our lives take place there) at a restaurant we've not tried before.


As New Yorkers, we are guilty of being afflicted with restaurant ADD which is defined as “dining someplace and having a thoroughly lovely experience, only to never return”.  That being said, every now and then we find it nice to return to a restaurant that we’ve experienced and enjoyed before.

This past week though, we did just that and went to Ma Peche, a member of the David Chang tribe that we’ve been to several times.  As always, the meal was full of flavor and unique tastes. Highlights were clams in soybean jalapeno broth, lobster fried rice (replete with the crusty rice bits from the bottom of the skillet) and broccoli salad with a smoked raisin mayo (I know, but trust me on that one).

The dessert list was short but included everything you needed…with the exception of someone to make the decision for you.  That was actually fine by me because the words “peanut” and “butter” were listed and in my mind’s eye had flashing lights and arrows all around them.

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It arrived at our table and I knew at first glance the pastry chef knocked it out of the park. First off, after coconut, peanut butter is my favorite dessert ingredient. Much to my lament, we do not offer anything that incorporates it at One Girl Cookies due to allergy issues. My heart goes out to those poor people that are unable to experience the greatness of ground goobers. Anyway, being thankful that I am not one of them, I dug in. The peanut butter component was much like a pate, sliced into perfect little chunks, surrounded by paper thin slices of dried apple, chunks of lily white meringue and tiny puddles of caramel. And did I mention the perfectly tart apple elder-flower sorbet placed in the center of the plate? In my opinion, it was a near perfect dessert…pretty to look at, well balanced flavors and rich without being cloying. It just may give me reason to get that restaurant ADD cured.


Posted on by Dawn Casale | Posted in cobble hill

Dawn Casale

About Dawn Casale

Barneys New York was the place I called my second home for six years. It was the classroom in which I learned the importance of aesthetic, the power of creativity and the joy of indulgence. At a point in time which I cannot specifically put my finger on, I reflected on my career choices and decided to return to that which I really knew... food and humanity's love of it. I began to think about my childhood and how much of it had been happily spent in the kitchen. The memories of the aromas and flavors that came from my grandmother's kitchen were vivid and exhilarating. That is where I learned about the ritual and significance of food, the sense of happiness and comfort it brought, and the essential elements of quality and care that went into its preparation.

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