Diff'rent Toques

There's no risk of boredom with Rubin's innovative desserts (all $6) -- which, we're thoughtfully warned by our server, include nuts (take note, allergy sufferers). Crème brûlée is everywhere these days, but how often is it gussied with halvah, a Middle Eastern confection of ground sesame seed and honey? It sounds bizarre, but it's a tasty twist on the now-too-common chilled custard with its caramelized sugar cap.

Prickly pear tiramisu is, in fact, a little odd -- sponge cake drenched in very strong Turkish coffee and dusted with pistachio. I like it, but be forewarned -- these challenging flavors aren't for novices, and I suggest sampling small bites. Chocolate flourless cake is a more familiar friend, a fudgelike confection decorated with peanuts, marshmallow foam, caramelized bananas and fresh blackberries and strawberries.

Even our finishing cups of black coffee reflect Rubin's aggressive approach. This is strong stuff, coffee beans with a definite attitude to share. If you want the weak stuff, I imagine them saying, "Go to Denny's."

While I can see why Rubin's creativity would make resort management squirm in their navy blue suits and red ties, I support his spirit. Sometimes, you've just got to fight for what you know is right.

Shine on, you crazy Rubin.

New Times restaurant critic Carey Sweet has been writing about food and dining in the Valley for 10 years. Contact her at 602-744-6588 or online at carey.sweet@newtimes.com

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