Desserts Reborn by Morgan St Theater

Disclosure: This tasting of desserts was complimentary (the beverages were paid for by donation), but I will always provide my honest opinion and assessment of all products and experiences I may be given. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are entirely my own.

This past Thursday I was very flattered to be asked to join a few other awesome bloggers in checking out a new pop-up dessert club. Morgan St Theater was a literal dessert club, extremely exclusive, you could only get in by personal invitation from the chef himself, so you had to be introduced!

Fortunately, Chef Jared is now looking at expanding the reach of his dessert experience – you still need to join in the mailing list in order to be in the know, but now you too, join in on the explorations that Morgan St Theater is embarking on monthly.

The menu below is from the tasting flight I experienced, and is the current theme for March/spring into Easter. However, Chef Jared is a big fan of dramatic themes, so expect these to change out soon, and often!
"Morgan Morgan St Theater March 6 2014 dessert flight menu focusing on reinventing the sundae and paired with cocktails

Morgan St Theater’s focus is specifically on crafting themed dessert flight experiences that are delivered via the concept of an artisan sundae that rather than going nostalgic and retro, are deconstructed and reconstructed. Each plating was full of textures and flavors, and at this tasting paired with a cocktail courtesy of Marc of Tannery Bar. In this tasting flight, the three desserts being reinvented included the Brownie, Root Beer Float, and Banana Split.
Morgan St Theater- Chef Jared Morgan St Theater- Chef Jared and partner in crime tonight, Marc of the Tannery Bar Morgan St Theater had pairings of the desserts with a cocktail courtesy of Marc of Tannery Bar

March Tasting Menu March 6, 2014

Sundae Bloody Sundae

Tarragon olive oil ice cream, chocolate orange wafer crumble, blood orange gastrique
Morgan St Theater: Sundae Bloody Sundae, Tarragon olive oil ice cream, chocolate orange wafer crumble, blood orange gastrique Morgan St Theater: Sundae Bloody Sundae, Tarragon olive oil ice cream, chocolate orange wafer crumble, blood orange gastrique

Paired with “The Pool of Bethesda”

Cognac, Aquavit, Combier, Lemon, Bay Leaf Syrup, Bitters
Morgan St Theater dessert flight and cocktail pairing, Marc's cocktail The Pool of Bethesda with Cognac, Aquavit, Combier, Lemon, Bay Leaf Syrup, Bitters Morgan St Theater dessert flight and cocktail pairing, Marc's cocktail The Pool of Bethesda with Cognac, Aquavit, Combier, Lemon, Bay Leaf Syrup, Bitters Morgan St Theater dessert flight and cocktail pairing, Marc's cocktail The Pool of Bethesda with Cognac, Aquavit, Combier, Lemon, Bay Leaf Syrup, Bitters

So this is the rebirth of the brownie. It’s a pretty bloody rebirth, as you can see from the color of the gastrique, and as it rises from the earth it has taken on a the flavors of the earth with the natural roasty earthy chocolate now being combined with the herbaceous tarragon (which is further reinforced via the herbaceous qualities of the cocktail), and the orange brings out some of the winey characteristics of chocolate with its bright fruit.

I am awaiting to see my other fellow bloggers who attended to see what they thought of the presentation, but to me it was reminiscent of what I’ve seen from  the Moto roadkill dish (if you are curious, you can google it yourself and I have my old old photo from then here). I felt a little mixed here- on one hand, I did enjoy the crispy crumbly texture here. However, part of what makes a brownie so wonderful, at least for me, is also some of its gooeyness, which was missing here. I wish there could have been both, but I did enjoy it.

Kah-pow!

Black pepper ice cream, plum soda, salted honey rim
Morgan St Theater Pairing: Kah-pow! Black pepper ice cream, plum soda, salted honey rim

Paired with “Tiberius Quelled”

Hendrick’s Gin, Cucumber, Lemon
Morgan St Theater: Tiberius Quelled cocktail with Hendrick's Gin, Cucumber, Lemon Morgan St Theater: Tiberius Quelled cocktail with Hendrick's Gin, Cucumber, Lemon

This reinterpretation of the root beer float was my favorite of the three, although I do think it was a lot of liquid to be having- I think it would have been cute to actually have poured the plum soda in a martini glass for a better ratio of liquid to ice cream, and which also would have matched well with the salted honey rim, which I kept turning my jar to keep getting it all. I do understand it gets a bit fizzy though. I love the juxtaposition of savory and sweet and salty that this dessert offered.

Chef Jared made this plum soda- in fact almost everything here is made from scratch, although he did admit they were not his bees/honey, and the mole was also sourced rather than made. Still, that’s pretty impressive! Meanwhile, this citrus refreshing drink was delicious, and I could have had a second if I wasn’t already drinking another dessert. I wasn’t quite sure how these were supposed to compliment or contrast the dessert here, though conceptually I can understand wanting to cleanse the palate and add an acidic citrus flavor profile. Still, delicious.

Planet of the Apes

Peanut butter ice cream, fried and salted plantain, chocolate mole sauce and lime
Morgan St Theater Pairing: Planet of the Apes Peanut butter ice cream, fried and salted plantain, chocolate mole sauce and lime and cocktail Powders of the Merchant with Foreign and Domestic Rums, Sherry, Becherovka, Combier, Orgeat, Citrus, Bitters

Paired with “Powders of the Merchant”

Foreign and Domestic Rums, Sherry, Becherovka, Combier, Orgeat, Citrus, Bitters
Morgan St Theater cocktail pairing of Powders of the Merchant with Foreign and Domestic Rums, Sherry, Becherovka, Combier, Orgeat, Citrus, Bitters

Finally, the banana split reborn is a rich peanut butter ice cream with a little hint surprising you now and then as the chocolate flavors open on your tongue. The cocktail Powders of the Merchant here was my favorite of the evening, just bursting with complex flavors that with each sip, I had to just let myself wait 15 seconds or so as I enjoyed the experience.

The next upcoming performances of Morgan St Theater are for the next two weeks on Thursday. The one on March 13 may already be sold out, but there is probably still room for the pop-up at Pairings Portland Wine Shop with Dessert from 7-9pm on March 20. In that pop-up, the pairings will be with wine courtesy of Pairings Portland Wine Shop, and I believe this particular pop-up partnership is going to be monthly. RSVP Here for the March 20 Morgan St Theater.

You can also continue to follow Morgan St Theater at their Facebook Page, Twitter @MorganStTheater, or Instagram MorganStTheater. As I mentioned, it seems there are so many more ideas of experiences that are being brainstormed, so more performances will be coming soon! I really enjoyed my experience, and it’s exciting watching this still young but brilliant concept of challenging the traditional sundae begin to expand its reach and be able to examine the modern sundae through the lens of more themes!

As my fellow food blogger companions post, I’ll link to the specific post from Bakery Bingo; Hummingbird High; In the Pink and Green; and Love, Rachel, but you should visit these lovely blogs anyway. Their photos will be so much better than mine.

Disclosure: This tasting of desserts was complimentary (the beverages were paid for by donation), but I will always provide my honest opinion and assessment of all products and experiences I may be given. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are entirely my own.

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Comments

  1. Dean Ward says:

    This looks very interesting and fun!

  2. Great post, Pech. So fun hanging out with you again! My post will be up tomorrow! 🙂

  3. And thanks for the shout out!

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