Halloween is upon us, and with it, achingly sweet treats poached from plastic pumpkins. We know you love your Twix and Laffy Taffy, and no one is trying to take them away from you. But try these local eateries for a more grown up way to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Stillwater’s Lolo boasts an innovative menu of entrees and cocktails, but their Butterscotch Budino is the stuff of dreams. A just-big-enough serving of decadent, caramely custard with a thin layer of maple syrup and a sprinkling of Hawaiian red clay sea salt, this dessert will leave you marking your calendar for your next visit to the shores of the St. Croix.
Brewer’s Table turns out gorgeous, refined plates like crudo and seared foie gras, but they also know how to play. Try the charming S’mores- a black pepper brownie with milk chocolate mousse, pomegranate curd, black salt marshmallows, Tonka bean hot fudge, and graham cracker tuiles with toasted marshmallow ice cream. If that’s not fancy pants enough, how about chocolate five ways? The chocolate tasting includes chocolate chip bouchon, Bender white chocolate panna cotta, milk chocolate mousse, white chocolate cream, and cocoa crumbs with a Surly Smoke ice cream.
Brasserie Zentral’s Amusements are just enough to whet your sweet tooth, according to pasty chef Nina Wrayge. The lush butterscotch bourbon budino is topped with a cookie toffee crumble while the seasonal pumpkin chocolate Éclair and the duo of coconut chocolate macaroons offer a few bites of decadence for only $4.
Tongue and Cheek offers an apple cider shaved ice to end your meal, but if you are picturing those tri-colored sugar water monstrosities from the State Fair you could not be more wrong. Here, they infuse their house made apple cider with a bit of curry and nutmeg, shaved to order and topped with diced Granny Smith apples, a decadent house made caramel sauce and vanilla hazelnut powder, made even better when ordered with a shot of brandy or bourbon. Or so I’ve heard.
We would be remiss not to mention this iconic Twin Cities bakery in any discussion of sweet treats. James Beard Award nominee Michelle Gayer leads her team of super bakers through mountains of cupcakes, tarts, and what Andrew Zimmern calls "the world’s best macaroons."