Chef Capizzi says of mastering pastry, "In pastry, it's more about mastering techniques than individual desserts. The techniques carry over to a myriad of different applications." He shows this in the Pistachio Genovese in his Girandola dessert.
The sesame seed coated candied nuts are an homage to the New York City candied nut street vendors.
The girandola is pistachio genovese, chocolate and toasted sesame gelatos. "You have to fail over and over before you're able to do it perfectly each time," Capizzi says of creating masterpieces.
When chef Capizzi needs inspiration for a new dessert, he looks to cookbooks. "It can be a $5 cookbook that I pick up at a small store, with an idea that serves as a jumping off point for a new dessert," he notes.
Capizzi carefully arranges dates around the plate of the Manderlosa. His favorite ingredient to work with is all kinds of fruit. "The best is when you can get anything local — berries, melons, apples, pears — everything from the harvest. Those are my favorite things to work with," he says.
Capizzi scoops the toasted almond gelato onto the plate. Though he may make it look easy, chef says this technique of scooping is a lot harder than it looks.
The manderlosa is made with almond cake, rice praline, amaretto custard, mascarpone crema, dates, and toasted almond gelato.
Capizzi doesn't like a stagnant lifestyle. "The challenge — that's what drives me. When I don't have a challenge, that's when I'm looking for something new. It's a never-ending curiosity, and pastry affords me endless amounts to learn," he says.
The Torta Barozzi is one of the most popular desserts on the menu because of the classic chocolate and coffee flavor combination. It's made with warm dark chocolate and coffee brown sugar cake, fior di latte and balsamico gelato.
"Conversations with other chefs are really important. For example, we have three interns from Sicily in the Lincoln Ristorante kitchen right now. One of them brought in a melon dessert that he eats at home with his family, and it's serving as the inspiration for a dish we plan to put on the menu this summer," chef Capizzi says as he plates the Torta Sabbiosa.
This dessert is a must-order right now. It's on the menu temporarily as part of their regional rotating menus. Capizzi explains, "We do a regional culinary exploration at Lincoln Ristorante that changes with the seasons, with the current focus on the Veneto for spring. So, each distinct region of Italy offers inspiration throughout the year."