A short lesson in French: “Soufflé” means to blow up. “Oeuf” means egg. “Crème” means cream or custard. How to end your European skull session -- a trip to Rise No. 1 in Inwood Village to experience the decadent combination of all three.
At first glance of the 92-seat salon de soufflé it’s hard to imagine it used to house a Lover’s Egg Roll.There isn’t a hint of anything corporate or fast food about it. As a matter of fact, it’s the antithesis of hit and run eating.
“Breakfast, lunch and dinner,” explains Dowd, “I just cared about what I was eating. I spent every summer in France with my grandparents who didn’t speak a word of English and my only means of communicating was through the French language and what I ate. And soufflés were very much a part of that world.”
One of Rise No 1’s most popular sweet soufflé is the strawberry soufflé made from seasonal strawberries, egg whites and a bit of sugar served with a strawberry coulis (French sauce). At 122 calories, you can order more than one with out worrying about expanding the width of your thighs.
“And when it comes out everybody is just so taken by it becomes magic,” Dowd says of the slightly pink, airy dish.
Chef Cherif Brahmi says he enjoys coming up with new soufflés. The newest of which is the violet soufflé topped with crystallized violets and served with a Champagne sauce. It’s best when paired with a glass of French Champagne. The floral hints linger on your tongue. It’s delicate, not overpowering. Another new soufflé is the Southwest Chicken soufflé topped with tomatillo sauce.
“Rise No 1 is a place to feed your stomach, share and ultimately -- feed your soul,” says Dowd.
Recipe for Rise No 1's strawberry soufflé
For 4 individual soufflés
As needed whipped butter -- unsalted
½ cup sugar -- granulated
6 each egg whites
3 tablespoons sugar - granulated
1 cup strawberry puree
For strawberry puree:
In a sauté pan combine 1 pound of fresh ripe strawberries (sliced) with 3 ounces of granulated sugar and cook over a low heat until the berries are completely softened. Puree the mix with a blender and let cool completely before using. Yields about 2 cups.
½ cup Heavy cream -- whipped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On the lowest rack of the oven place a pizza stone and allow it to preheat with the oven.
Rise No 1
5360 West Lovers Lane; Suite 220