Dessert First

"Pig in the Orchard" Bread Pudding at Citizen Public House

Tired of discovering a restaurant's delectable desserts after already stuffing ourselves full of appetizers and entrees, we're on a mission to find the places where diners should order Dessert First.

It would be sacrilegious to write about dessert in this town without mentioning Tracy Dempsey. With that in mind, we headed to Citizen Public House to see what happens when a bacon-obsessed restaurant meets up with a pastry chef who's known for her Bacon Pecan Brittle. Plus, New Times just named Citizen Public House as the Best New Restaurant in town (heck, even Esquire weighed in with a best newbie nod this month), so why wouldn't we make an excuse to visit?

Bread pudding is a pretty popular dessert this year, but nothing compares to Dempsey's "Pig in the Orchard" version. With Applewood smoked bacon, Granny Smith apples, and cinnamon ice cream, this dish features the best of breakfast and the best of dessert all in one. In fact, we'd be happy to eat this for any meal of the day - or for every meal of the day!

The bread pudding itself is custardy but not so much so that it loses the texture of the bread. Dempsey's method of creating this dessert is perfect, slicing the apples as thinly as possible and chopping the bacon into surprising little bits of flavor that the eye can hardly discern. This ensures that all of the delectable flavors make it into every single bite and that no one at the table will be digging for the bacon treasure, leaving their friends high and dry with plain custard.

Find out what else we had for dessert after the jump.

Dempsey makes impeccable classic desserts. Maybe you can make Pot de Crème at home, but it's not going to turn out like the expert creation served at Citizen Public House. For that reason alone, this dish is worth the splurge. It's rich but not too rich; it's velvety soft but still has that chocolatey thickness. The flavors of dark chocolate, coffee, cream, and a hint of whiskey are simple, but they add up to the perfect late night decadent dessert.

As rich as they are - and with a price tag of $10 a pop - these are not everyday indulgences. However, when you're in the neighborhood and can think of any excuse to celebrate, the desserts at Citizen Public House are just the ticket. In fact, if you want to drive across town to celebrate that you made it to Friday, you won't be sorry (and we won't judge).

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