Some chefs know just how to inject a bit of whimsy into a dish without losing something in the translation. At the über-sophisticated Radius, business types will loosen up and couples will get closer when they sample pastry chef P.J. Watersís Cinema Paradiso for two. A veritable circus on a plate, this dessert combines kiddie favorites with sophisticated flavors and impressive pastry technique. A large, white oval plate displays a smooth milk-chocolate chiboust on a layer of crispy chocolate reminiscent of a Nestlé Crunch bar. A quenelle of popcorn-flavored ice cream ó at once salty, sweet, and inflected with the essence of corn ó is a perfect foil for the chocolate. For an icy treat, a shot glass holds vibrant-red slush, which owes its intense flavor to Bing cherries. Raisinets, anyone? A small bowl contains hand-dipped chocolate-covered raisins. Finally, a red-and-white-striped box ó just like you get at the circus and ball games ó holds warm caramel corn. Itís far better than Cracker Jacks, even if there isnít a prize.
Available for $16 (serves two) at Radius, 8 High Street, in Boston. Call 617.426.1234.