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Mar 17, 2007 11:56 AM

Dessert Only: SF Restaurants

Hello Chowhounders! I am on assignment to eat at 5 restaurants JUST for dessert one night next week. One of them will need to be Bar Tartine.

Places I've eaten lately: A16, Rubicon, Delfina & Campton Place. Menus I've seen recently: Citizen Cake & Perbacco. Meals I will have soon: Oliveto & Quince.

Are there any pastry chefs out there whose work I absolutely must not miss on this one night of extreme dessert eating? I want to eat desserts that offer a range of styles and tastes. From American to European, experimental to down home.

I'm open to suggestions! Thanks for any input you have!

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  1. The best regular-menu desserts I can recall from the past year or so were the panna cotta at Incanto and the cannoli at Pizzeria Delfina.

    A friend who's not usually a big dessert fan was raving about Coi's foie gras and olive oil ice creams (two different flavors).

    7 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      Incanto's panna cotta strikes gold every time. The texture is heavenly.

      Pizzaiolo's new pastry chef is excellent, though you're probably just looking for places in the city.

      Foie gras ice cream, eh? Foie gras and ice cream are two of my favorite foods, but...
      I read an interview with the exec chef at The Fat Duck where he used foie gras ice cream as an example of experiments in molecular gastronomy that just don't work. Perhaps the pastry chef at Coi knows something Blumenthal doesn't.

      1. re: Morton the Mousse


        Sounds like a bad idea, but so did bacon ice cream and chocolate blood gelato, both of which I enjoyed.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          I can't believe that no one's yet asked you what "chocolate blood gelato" was, RL.

      2. re: Robert Lauriston

        Are ice creams at Coi made by the pastry chef or Daniel Patterson? For some reason, I was thinking Daniel made them. Off topic, he used to make a tiny foie gras truffle (rolled in pistachios) as an amuse at Elisabeth Daniel that veered toward the sweet side...not a dessert, but so perfect.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Curious about going into listed restaurants just for desserts. How does that work? Do you still make reservations? Should dessert diners only arrive after a certain time not to interfere with full diners? Lastly, do you tell the server or host that you only want dessert? Thanks would like to try Coi for dessert but am shy to how welcoming the management would be only ordering dessert.

          1. re: foodseek

            You can order all desserts at COI in the lounge. It's a great place to pop in.

        2. If you're in the Mission for Bar Tartine (you poor dear), try that olive oil/Maldon salt sundae at Bi-Rite Creamery.

          Maybe Range's desserts would be worth trying.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Atomica

            I walked by Bar Tartine yesterday afternoon and looked at the menu in the window since the OP specifically mentioned Bar Tartine was not optional. No desserts listed on the menu. For a place run by a well-respected bakery, this seems odd.

            1. re: Atomica

              They just neglected to put the dessert menu in the window. Here's one report on a couple of them:


            2. re: Atomica

              Just had my first Bi-Rite Creamery experience yesterday. This is the best Ice Cream- I had the banana ice cream delicious and different texture from my boyfriends caramel ice cream which was wicked, creamy and rich. Picked up some toffee cookies that were outstanding.

            3. Aziza. They have always had good desserts, but they have a new pastry chef who I am a fan of. She always makes the most wonderful sweets.

              4 Replies
              1. re: rworange

                The pastry chef to whom you're devoted has resigned.

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  Rats. Thanks for the update. I suspected in might not last a long time ... but still.

                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    I've always really liked Aziza's desserts, and I didn't even go during his 3-week stint. I'd definitely give Aziza's desserts a try.

                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                      but her protege still works there and he is doing a wonderful, if not better job

                  2. Citizen Cake has awesome desserts.

                    Babette's Larder- makes a chocolate tort that is so delicious

                    One of my new addictions because I love coconut is the coconut pie at Cafe Gratitude , all raw. I can't get enough, not the caliber you are asking for but if you like coconut this is heaven.

                    Other than that I have not ordered dessert after dinner for some time, I prefer port.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Lori SF

                      I second the desserts at Cafe Grattitude-- especially the mudslide pie. Amazingly rich and creamy, but not overly sweet or heavy.

                    2. Coi's desserts are exceptional as well.....

                      1 Reply