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Aug 5, 2010 05:20 PM

Philly's Best Dessert?

I hardly ever order dessert in restaurants. I either deem the dessert "not worth the calories" or, since I am a baker myself, I think (quite arrogantly) that I can do it better.

However, there is one restaurant where dessert does not disappoint -- Alma de Cuba. It is not one of my favorite restaurants. The ceviches are perfect, but otherwise I find the food heavy, the drinks uninspired, and the service spotty.

The desserts at Alma de Cuba are amazing -- every one of them. The chocolate cigar is original and delicious (even for non-chocolate lovers like me), but my two favorites are the tapioca pudding (served in a young coconut with a guava bar cookie on the side) and the dulce de leche crepes, which are served with little nuggets of crunchy goodness inside and as a garnish on the plate. Sweet perfection!

What's your favorite restaurant dessert? There must be more out there that are worth it??!

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  1. Always thought the sticky raisin cinnamon bun at Bathazar in Manhattan was best of breed. The one at LaCroix is even better. For brunch, eat @ 6 oz of Paddlefish caviar with a bottle of Clos Gaensbronnel Gewurtztraminer 2002, and finish with wonderful coffee and three of the sticky buns. Never walk out full, just happy.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

      My kinda brunch! I love your suggestion, all of it.

    2. Anything baked at Matyson is high on the heap. Also we had a wonderful chocolate sampling at Sonata that I would put into contention.

      2 Replies
      1. re: joluvscards

        I second the Matyson suggestion but would also say possible KooZeeDoo if their other desserts are anything like the chocolate mousse I had from there. I too generally think I can make desserts better that what I get out (and I have a lovely mousse recipe) but something about the hazelnut brittle made it simpyl phenomenal

        1. re: padovana

          Koo Zee Doo's desserts are fantastic, some of the best in the city.

      2. the dessert cart at Le bec Fin- go there before they close forever!

        2 Replies
        1. re: rocknroll52

          Agreed. Le Bec Fin's dessert cart is my absolute favourite. I love the selections and the fact that they're familiar desserts (creme brulee, panna cotta, etc) but each with a slight twist and impecable execution.

          I'd place Matyson high on the list, too. Very yummy. Slightly more affordable, too.

          1. re: Ali

            Having worked in the Le Bec Fin pastry kitchen, I will be fine if I never, ever see one of their albeit wonderful desserts again! I love Matyson, but have never ordered dessert there. Thanks for the tip!

        2. One of the most memorable desserts I've had in Philly was at Vetri. Lavender gelato in a glass tea cup with a disc of dark chocolate covering the cup. Warm olive oil was poured on the disc, which melted into the cup along with the olive oil. heavenly.

          4 Replies
          1. re: urbanfabric

            Oh, second most memorable was at Supper last fall. the rest of the meal was good, but not mind blowing, but the chocolate tart in a pretzel crust with creme fraiche ice cream, while sounding simple, was absolutely incredible. I wanted to lick the plate.

            I also bring lots of baggage to the dessert menu, I also do some baking, but I'm also generally in the no-fruit-in-dessert camp. I feel like the typical "chef" (not pastry chef) thing to do is often to pair berries with a crust or a ice cream/custard/pudding.

            1. re: urbanfabric

              WOW, Urbanfabric, thanks for sharing. That sounds incredible!!

              1. re: urbanfabric

                Another good one at Vetri is the chocolate polenta souffle.

              2. tiramisu at la fourno on south street. hands down the best tiramisu in the city