Delightfully Decadent Desserts from the Restaurants of Metro D

By: Toni Cunningham | September 4, 2013
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Do you ever have those times where you go out to eat somewhere and start casually perusing the dessert menu before you even order your entrée? I know that can’t just be me.

If you’ve got a sweet tooth (who doesn’t?), there are plenty of restaurants in the Metro Detroit area that allow you to get both your dinner and dessert fix in one place. Because once you’ve chowed down on a huge steak, the last thing you want to do is get in your car and drive to a bakery that may or may not be open at 9 p.m.

The best restaurant desserts in Metro Detroit can be found at the following establishments:

Roast, 1128 Washington Blvd., Detroit, serves desserts that are artfully crafted by pastry chef Shannon Kellett. If you’re looking for fruit flavors, try the Strawberries and Cream (lemon buttermilk cake with white chocolate semifreddo and almond crunch) or Peach Blueberry Crisp (with warm corn crumble and cinnamon sweet corn ice cream). If chocolate is more up your alley, the Chocolate Peanut Butter cheesecake with ganache should do the trick. Beer and Pretzels (porter beer ice cream with chocolate covered pretzels and caramel foam) is another option that should not go unmentioned.


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Iridescence, 2901 Grand River, Detroit, is known for its five-star dining, and the desserts are no less spectacular. The Peanut Butter Bar (mousse with banana pudding ice cream), Lemon Mascarpone Cheesecake and Apple Crème Fraiche Custard with apple cider sorbet are all excellent choices. However, who could pass up a Four-Course Dessert Tasting? This luscious quartet includes everything from crème fraîche mousse to brandied cherry ice cream to chocolate custard.

The Whitney, 4421 Woodward Ave., offers several “sweet endings,” including the restaurant’s Award Winning Carrot Cake—a confection made with cream cheese butter cream, homemade caramel sauce and candied walnuts. A guilt free dessert, since it includes vegetables! The Spirit of Detroit is definitely for fans of ice cream cake. It’s made with chocolate and hazelnut ice cream, layers of chocolate cake and topped with a baked meringue. Crème brûlée, seasonal cheesecake and house-churned ice cream are also on the menu.

Union Woodshop, 18 S. Main St., Clarkston, has such an appealing dessert menu that I am unable to make up my mind as to which item is best. They also make their own liquid nitrogen vanilla ice cream, which is served with several of the desserts. The top contenders are: Maple Bourbon Sundae (ice cream smothered with Michigan maple syrup and Jim Beam sauce, sprinkled with Spanish peanuts), Hot Mini Mill Donuts (covered in cinnamon sugar) and a Brownie Skillet with ice cream and chocolate sauce. Additional choices include a Cupcake Trio, Deep Fried Twinkie, Seasonal Cobbler and Butterscotch Pudding.

Vinsetta Garage, 27799 Woodward Ave., Berkley, churns its own liquid nitrogen custard. Coincidence? Nope, the same folks run the Woodshop and the Garage; however, the menus are completely different. Here, the Malted Molten Chocolate Cake is served with custard and topped with Cap’n Crunch. The Marbled Caramel-Pumpkin Cheesecake is topped with caramel whipped cream and has my name written all over it. The Banoffee Pudding melds banana pudding and toffee sauce into a culinary explosion, and the S’more Trio is an obviously sound choice. House-Made Custard (vanilla, milk chocolate or salted caramel) and Faygo Ice Cream are also available.

Pronto, 608 S. Washington Ave., Royal Oak, has nearly two-dozen dessert options. Yes, you read that correctly. My personal favorite, Red Velvet Cake, is frosted with cream cheese icing and has been voted Metro Detroit’s Best by the Detroit News. Can’t argue with that, now can you? The cheesecake comes in several variations, including Oreo, White-Chocolate Raspberry and Orange-Chocolate. “Chocolate Delight” items include Chocolate Ripple, Caramel Mocha and Toffee Ripple, all different variations of chiffon, mouse and butter cream or ganache. Other choices that will not disappoint include (but are not limited to) Cannoli Cake, Strawberry Shortcake and “Palmer Pie” (upside down caramel apple pie).

I don’t know about you, but at this point, I could care less about the actual meal at any of these places, however delicious they may be. Who says you can’t have dessert first?