Dessert First

Salted Caramel Sundae and Chocolate Bouchon at Postino Winecafé

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.

Thanks to their relaxing atmosphere, unique bruschetta, and great selection of wine and beer, Postino Winecafé is a restaurant where both locations always seem to be packed with happy customers. We stopped by the location on Central Ave. to see if their dessert is as worthy of waiting for a table as are the rest of their quality offerings.

We were not disappointed. The Salted Caramel Sundae with chocolate-covered corn nuts, pretzel sticks, and vanilla bean ice cream is worth the wait. Though it has the right simple vanilla bean flavor and texture, the ice cream itself isn't much. What make this sundae something special are the fixings. Chocolate-covered corn nuts sound nothing but odd, but once we got a taste, we found ourselves craving more.

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

At first bite, it's easy to forget that they're corn nuts hiding under that dark chocolate shell, but with a little crunching, the corn nut flavor is unmistakable, blending unexpectedly well with the ice cream. And the salted caramel sauce? It has classic, straightforward flavor - and they serve a shot glass full so that you can pour more on to your heart's content.

This is one of those dishes where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. With Halloween weekend upon us, dipping corn nuts in heavenly chocolate is the ideal way to dress up sugary childhood tradition. (Just try it. For only $5, you won't be sorry.)

For the less adventurous dessert lovers, Postino's Chocolate Bouchon will satisfy a serious craving for chocolate. Bouchon, which translates to "cork" (or "plug") in French, are usually made in the shape of their namesake. This version was a little different, but the flavor still rings true like that of an extremely decadent (albeit slightly less moist) brownie.

Topped with hot fudge, the version at Postino is basically a cross between chocolate bouchon and chocolate lava cake, and we are certainly not complaining. A scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on the side completes the plate. It's the same plain ice cream that's served with the Salted Caramel Sundae and their Vanilla Crème Brûlée, but with all of the wacky ice cream flavors available these days, there's no shame in reaching for a classic.

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Dominique Chatterjee