First Ria gets two Michelin stars and now Balsan's Paris-Brest is named the No. 1 best dessert in America in 2010 by GQ.
Alan Richman, the magazine's food writer, pegged his top 5 favorite desserts this year and this classic French pastry at the Elysian Hotel's more casual restaurant came out on top.
"Assembled to order, which I've never seen done in a French patisserie," Richman writes about the pastry named for a French bicycle race, "wheel-shaped choux pastry stuffed with hazelnut mousse and hazelnut nougatine, topped with powdered sugar and toasted hazelnuts. Will have your wheels spinning."
In related news, Ria will close from Jan. 1 through 25 while the staff heads to New York for a little R&D. The restaurant will have a thorough cleaning and will get some physical updates, which includes the addition of a butcher block and longer raw bar in Balsan. Even better, exec chef Jason McLeod is sourcing rare British Columbia honey mussels and Balsan will be the only joint in Chicago to have them.
· Chicago Michelin Guide Revealed [~EChi~]
· GQ Eats: Alan Richman's Five Best Desserts of the Year [GQ]
· Ria Closing Temporarily; Honey Mussels and Raw Bar Coming to Balsan [Feast]
Balsan's Paris-Brest [Photo: Grant Kessler]