Dessert First

Cobbler on Quack at Cowboy Ciao

Tired of discovering a restaurant's delectable desserts after 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 makes excellent leftovers. But ice cream made in-house? Not a chance.

Move on over, chocolate, vanilla, and flavors-of-the-month -- there's a new ice cream in town. And, thanks to Pastry Chef Country Velador, it's only available at Cowboy Ciao. If you're in an adventurous mood, head to downtown Scottsdale, grab a table in Cowboy Ciao, and order the Cobbler on Quack for dessert. It's a traditional Apple Cobbler served with none other than Duck Fat Ice Cream. Are you drooling yet...or are you feeling a little intimidated?

With duck fat as a star player in this dish, diners might be a little wary, but there's really no cause for alarm. This dessert isn't meaty like bacon ice cream (which is incredibly delicious but not for everyone). In fact, if duck fat wasn't named on the menu, you might never guess that the dessert wasn't vegetarian. Think back to the many delicious desserts you've consumed that were made with lard, or pig fat. Lard is used in pie crusts, cookies, and a long list of classic Mexican desserts. If you're comfortable with eating those, you're ready to take it to the next culinary level.

Duck is known for its gamey flavor, but that doesn't translate at all to the ice cream. Instead, it has an incredibly rich, buttery flavor with just a hint of savory...something. Unless you've got a killer palate, you'd never pick out duck fat as the special ingredient. It adds soft nuttiness that's like the savory goat milk flavor in cajeta, but the similar note in Duck Fat Ice Cream is much, much milder. If you want a more decadent version of butter rum ice cream, duck fat will fit the bill (pun intended). Oh, and did I mention that duck fat is actually healthier than butter?

As for the Apple Cobbler that's underneath the Duck Fat Ice Cream, there's not a single bad thing that can be said about it. The apples are sliced nearly paper thin, the crumble topping is tender yet crispy, and all in all, it has a sweet, traditional flavor that doesn't hold back on the cinnamon. The flavors of this dessert are perfectly balanced, and although it's hard to believe that it's possible, the Apple Cobbler makes the Duck Fat Ice Cream taste even better. Cobbler on Quack is truly a match made in heaven.

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Dominique Chatterjee