When we asked Lura (“Don’t call me Laura”) Poland about her ethereal desserts at Sage, she made all the noises a good soldier should make about how they all sprang from the creative mind of her boss Shawn McClain, she’s just the pastry chef, yadda yadda yadda…
While we have no doubt that the Shawn-ster came up with the ideas for an obscure French delicacy and an olde English favorite, we also know it’s up to Ms. Poland to execute these recipes to perfection night after night.
And execute she does. So well that we find ourselves daydreaming about these delights, and making up excuses for why we have to swing by Aria every night for another taste or three.
There’s something about the crisp, caramelized exterior of the caneles that gives way to the soft, not-too–sweet custard within that is both haunting and addictive. (Eat one and you’ll want to eat a dozen.) Sticky toffee pudding isn’t as refined — being basically a dark, spice cake covered in toffee sauce — but one spoonful inevitably leads to a fight at the table over who gets to finish it.
Both demand to be served warm (that’s the way you get them at Sage…with really good ice cream melting over their top), and both are the apotheosis of comfort food.
Thanks Lura (and Shawn)! Keep up the good work.