Not long ago, a friend posed a good question. He wanted to know where he could get dessert in central Phoenix. And not just a meal-ender. This needed to be dessert worth leaving the house for.
Here are Chow Bella's five suggestions for destination desserts in Phoenix.
1. Postre de chocolate at Gallo Blanco Cafe
This chocolate pudding isn't just for kids, though the edgy Clarendon Hotel will make you feel young (make sure you check out the wall of water by the pool). This is the richest pudding we've ever tasted, topped with homemade marshmallow fluff and graham crackers for requisite dipping. You might choose to pair it with one of Gallo Blanco's killer margaritas. Go ahead. We won't judge.
2. Souffle at Vincent on Camelback
Call ahead, and maybe the kind folks at Vincent's will pop your souffle in the oven before you arrive. Either way, it's well worth the 15 minute wait for Vincent Guerithault's signature dessert -- chocolate tart, lemon crepe or Grand Marnier souffle. Enjoy it in the low-key but elegant dining room and feel like a king or a queen.
3. Ice cream at Mary Coyle Ol' Fashion Ice Cream and Yogurt
The decor is cheesy but the ice cream is creamy and the owners of this Phoenix icon say they'll close for good in May -- so get Mary Coyle ice cream while you can. Don't want to get out of your jammies? No worries, the ice cream parlor has a drive-thru!
4. Parnassienne au Chocolate Chocolate Tower at Christopher's Restaurant and Crush Lounge
Last year, Christopher Gross kindly showed us how to make his signature chocolate tower at home, but frankly, it's a lot a more fun to eat it in his swanky restaurant at Biltmore Fashion Park. The best part is knocking the delicate chocolate structure over before digging in.
5. The entire dessert menu at T. Cook's
If you've never been to the charming Royal Palms Hotel, you don't know what you're missing. Even without pastry chef Travis Watson's confections at T. Cook's, the hotel restaurant, this place is always worth a visit for its Mediterranean-inspired architecture, romantic fireplaces and the tiny orange lights that twinkle in the citrus trees. And the lounge -- don't get us started on the lounge, with its grand piano and hand-painted wallpaper. Combine that with buttered popcorn gelato or caramel cheesecake creme brulee and you've got a true dessert destination. T. Cook's even has separate dessert menus for lunch and kids. That's sweet.
Have your own favorite destination dessert in CenPho? Share it in the comment section.