Arlequin's Ferry Plaza Debut Flaunts Luis Villavelazquez's Lush Imagination

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M. Brody
Luis Villavelazquez: The Lewis Carrol of cupcakes?
​For the inaugural outing this morning of Arlequin's pastry stand on the south side of the Thursday Ferry Plaza farmers' market, chef Luis Villavelazquez put together an intriguing lineup of cupcakes, beignets, scones, and cookies with uncommon combinations of ingredients and flavor profiles. Cocoa nib cupcakes stuffed with huckleberry jam and frosted with violet-essence icing? Fromage blanc scones studded with figs and glazed with honey, or savory wheatberry scones slicked with olive oil? We'd put the imagination of the Arlequin (and Absinthe) pastry chef right up there alongside Lewis Carroll's.We wanted to follow him down the rabbit hole and try everything, but reality intervened.

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M. Brody
Scones seemed perfect for the season.
​Our favorites were perfect for the season: the dusky scone excitingly perfumed with the pungent Indian spice blend garam masala, enfolding chewy bits of persimmon, and glazed with coffee ($2.75); and the autumnal squash cupcake, happily not too sweet, stuffed with pillowy cream cheese and topped with brown butter frosting ($2.50).

We also enjoyed the very chocolaty, dense, and lumpy chocolate cherry cookie ($1.75) and the classic beignet with raspberry jam (the same ones Arlequin makes for I Preferiti de Boriana in the Ferry Building -- $2.50). The modish beignet stuffed with maple/bacon custard ($2.50) was shocking in its intensity and fattiness: perhaps better for later in the day than as an eye-opener. But we'll happily open our eyes any time of the day with the split scone sandwiched with house-made pecan butter and glazed with Rittenhouse 100-proof rye whiskey ($2.75).

Arlequin Stand at the Thursday Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market One Ferry Building at the Embarcadero; Thu, 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m., or until sold out.

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M. Brody
Beignets (left) and cupcakes: lime/coconut, squash, cocoa nib with huckleberry, and chocolate chip with maple frosting.

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