When fresh figs show up in the produce aisle, I buy them almost daily. The season—there are two, actually—is fleeting and to me, there's nothing quite like the earthy sweetness of the dense fruit. So, when I saw the panna cotta with port wine gelee, fresh figs, and a house-made fig newton listed on Twelve Restaurant 's menu earlier this week, I ordered it.
Served in a mini glass jar, the panna cotta  was smooth and delicate, and beautifully offset by a layer of port wine gelee. But the star of the dish was the cookie—a gussied up version of the famed Nabisco newton. When I asked chef-owner Jeff Osaka about the treat, he explained that the cookie's filling incorporates dried black mission figs, orange zest, and port to find a round flavor that isn't overly sweet. For depth, Osaka adds chocolate powder to the dough. The final result: A chewy, robust, and balanced combination that pays homage to the lovely fig.
As terrific as the combination might be, Osaka is wedded to seasonality (he changes the menu monthly). The dessert—like the figs themselves—is short-lived. Go now.
2233 Larimer St., 303-293-0287