Sure, strawberries taste just fine on their own—especially when they're in-season, farmer's market strawberries, not the kind you buy in a plastic box at the supermarket. And they're even finer when sprinkled with powdered sugar and a cloud of whipped cream. But finest of all is when they're spun into a spectacular dessert or cocktail, like the six we're crazy about right now:
Vanilla Bean Crème Brulee at David Burke Kitchen at James Hotel, New York City
Creme brulée may seem passé, but the version at David Burke Kitchen in New York City will make you discover it all over again. Vanilla bean-spiked creme brulée gets a layer of roasted fig jam, a topping of macerated strawberries and rhubarb, and a side of housemade almond biscotti. While you're there, keep an eye out for celebs like Anne Hathaway, Joe Jonas, Tyra Banks and Bjork, who have all stopped by for a bite. Photo by Dillon Burke.
Olive Oil Cake at Spiaggia, Chicago
At Spiaggia, James Beard Award-winning chef Tony Mantuano’s Italian restaurant, pastry chef Joey Schwab’s desserts include a phenomental interpretation of the classic olive oil cake. The three-tiered cake offers layers of texture via pillowy mascarpone panna cotta, bruleed strawberries and icy rhubarb-basil sorbet. Photo by Spiaggia.
Strawberry Vacherin at Fig & Olive, Los Angeles
Fig & Olive's luscious spins on classic French cuisine extend to desserts like the strawberry vacherin, which joins strawberry sorbet, strawberry marmalade and whipped cream together with a perfect, unexpected flourish in the form of a thyme-tinged meringue. Photo courtesy of Fig & Olive.
Vacherin aux Fraise at Vaucluse, New York City
Fancy a bowl of strawberry soup? At Vaucluse, the fruit takes the form of a delicate, chilled strawberry consommé and comes with a crisp meringue and fromage blanc ice cream on the side. Photo courtesy of Vaucluse/Facebook.
Sake Cocktail at Kuro at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Hollywood, Florida
Kuro's waitstaff makes a well-deserved big deal out of the stunning dessert cocktail, the Spring Sake, mixing and serving it tableside. You'll get a martini glass filled with yuzu granita and shiso oil, and then you'll watch as the textures and colors change in the glass when your server pours strawberry-infused sake into the mix. It's a thriilling end to any meal, not that you'll want to stop at just one. Photo by Michael Pisarri.
Rhubarb Choux at Deuxave, Boston
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and SNL’s Tim Meadows stop in at Deuxave in Boston for its exquisite modern French and American dishes. One of the standouts on the menu? The rhubarb choux cream-puff dessert, which involves basil ice cream, rhubarb three-ways (poached rhubarb, rhubarb chips and rhubarb curd) and pickled strawberries for a flavor combo you'll daydream about all week. Photo by Andy Ryan.
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