But no name, no description, can do justice to our favorite dessert at this cowboy-chic spot. The menu dutifully lists the ingredients of the Cuppa Red Hot Chocolate: cinnamon-spiked chocolate pot de crème with chipotle crema, ancho chile honey, and cayenne-spiked ginger cookie. But nothing will prepare you for the impossibly thick chocolate (custard, pudding, mousse? We're at a loss, but it's the richest chocolate you'll ever taste) beneath a foam of what looks like the top of a cappuccino. Put a bite in your mouth and you'll immediately taste the cinnamon, then the chocolate, then a hard kick from the chipotle.
We give up. We can't describe the experience. You'll just have to trust us. Try it, and you'll be at a loss for words yourself, trying to explain to friends and family why they absolutely must run over to Cowboy Ciao for, um, a cup of hot chocolate.
This is one of the few spots in town where you'll find us outdoors in summer, under the twinkly lights, drinking a cold glass of Chardonnay.
Such is not the case with Different Pointe of View, located on top of an 1,800-foot mountain just north of Thunderbird Road. You can enjoy this spectacular outlook while sampling from a wine cellar stocked with a mere 86,000 bottles; more than 800 different wines are carried on the menu. Chef Ivan Flowers runs a kitchen that keeps pace nicely with the staggering alcoholic assemblage.
Bonus points if you can name the star witness in the state's most infamous corruption trial who was involved in a fatal car accident exiting the restaurant.
We lean back into the comfortable lobby couches at the Ritz, and sip. Then we pig out. Er, we mean nibble. We promise, after Jeffrey's tea we will never make fun of a cucumber sandwich again. Now we understand that whole lemon curd thing. And we will never forget the pastries, nor the chocolate dipped strawberries.
Sated, we sink back into the pillows and sip more tea, our reverie broken when Jeffrey politely clears his throat to announce the presence of a birthday girl in the lobby and then launches into song.
What a tea party!