Wild Mousse Chase

Jody Williams moves from Italy to France

Chef Jody Williams has seen her fair share of buzzy restaurant openings (and departures). But at her new restaurant, Buvette, she's taking a slow-and-steady tack toward the launch.

Buvette's doors have been quietly open for weeks, but many of Williams's French-swaying dishes have yet to find a permanent space on the printed menu. Instead, offerings such as potée--a savory broth that has sausage, smoked pork ribs, pork belly, trotters, beans and cabbage suspended in it--are recited by your server.

Yet there is already a clear signature on offer: the chocolate mousse.

Made with only five ingredients, it's served by giant spoonful, dropped free-form onto a plate and topped with an equally abstract scoop of whipped cream. Though the dessert is simple, its preparation is time-consuming, as Chef de Cuisine Caite Whitbeck beats the egg whites and yolks by hand in copper bowls.

Such exertions pay off: The mousse's thick and impossibly smooth texture is the matrix that holds up an amplified chocolate flavor that's akin to the inside of a truffle.

The kitchen initially gave out smaller spoonfuls of the stuff as a postprandial freebie, and now offers the dessert daily in the restaurant and for takeout. But the best way to protect yourself against a midnight craving is to whip out your copper bowls and make the mousse at home (click here to see the recipe).

Buvette, 42 Grove St. (between Bedford and Bleecker sts.); 212-255-3590 or ilovebuvette.com

Buvette 42 Grove St. New York NY 10014 212-255-3590

Download Buvette's Breakfast Menu

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