Dessert First

Cannolis (Not on the Menu So You Have to Ask) and Rum Cake at Hanny's

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. After all, chicken roulade and lamb vindaloo make excellent leftovers. But ice cream made in-house? Not a chance.

It's no exaggeration to say that Hanny's is on most everyone's list of favorite downtown joints. They have a chic and relaxing atmosphere, refreshing (and strong) cocktails, and an addictive menu. But whenever Hanny's is bustling with happy people, how many do you spy eating dessert? Not enough.

Sure, they have classic ways to satisfy a sweet tooth, such as tiramisu and chocolate cake, but we recommend ordering their desserts that can't be found anywhere else. First up are their brand new cannolis, which haven't yet made it on the menu. Somehow, they serve these at the perfect time, when the shell isn't too crunchy or too soft. Cannolis can be a plain dessert -- delicious, but with a one-note flavor. In this version, rich cinnamon and lemon zest add depth of flavor to the filling. So while yes, cannolis can be found at most Italian restaurants, these cannolis can only be tasted at Hanny's in downtown Phoenix.

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

We also tried the mysterious La Dolce Vita, a dish with a tempting name and no written description. This dessert features a rich rum cake with spices that play on the tongue. The cake is topped with roasted pistachios, which complement the notes of buttery rum. And finally, there's plenty of thick whipped cream to smother every bite. La Dolce Vita may sound simple, but it truly makes for "the sweet life," as the name suggests.

When that craving for dessert and a little decadence hits -- even at midnight on a Saturday night -- a trip to this downtown Phoenix hotspot is just the cure. Plus, with desserts ranging from $5-$7, it won't break the bank. That is, unless (like us) you can't help but indulge in Prosciutto di Parma pizza and several classic cocktails at the same time. Regardless of what else you order, don't forget to get dessert first.

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