A mind-bogglingly rich, gooey chocolate dessert is welcome in our lives any day of the year, but the advent of Valentine's Day just gives us an excuse to ogle these things—and better yet, to eat every last one. Here's where to find some of the most sinfully delicious chocolate desserts, from a chocolate treasure chest to a meltingly warm chocolate cake doused with espresso fudge.
Chocolate Treasure, Barton G. - The Restaurant, Los Angeles
Celebs from Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis to Salma Hayek, John Travolta, Charlie Sheen, Drake and Will Ferrell head to West Hollywood’s Barton G. for the kitchen’s over-the-top twists on comfort food dishes and its no-holds-barred desserts. Case in point: the artistically presented chocolate treasure dessert, which includes double-chocolate bittersweet brownies topped with housemade Tahitian vanilla bean nitro ice cream, chocolate ganache and 24-karat edible gold flakes. It's all delivered in a small treasure chest surrounded by a tray full of graham cracker “sand” and chocolate coins. Dig in with your gold-dusted chocolate spoon, if you can even figure out where to begin.
Chocolate Tart, Perennial Virant, Chicago
This optical-illusion dessert looks almost like a cinnamon roll, but eat it for breakfast at your own risk. It's actually a chocolate tart served at Chicago's Perennial Virant at The Hotel Lincoln, and you're going to want a piece of that action. The tart involves caramel ganache, smoked sugar and a scoop of malted chocolate ice cream, and it’s sprinkled with cocoa nibs to sweeten the deal.
Chocolate Molten Cake, BCN Taste & Tradition, Houston
The kitchen at BCN Taste & Tradition in Houston serves stunning Spanish creations from chef Luis Roger, formerly of Spain's legendary elBulli. The desserts don't disappoint either, and one of the best is the spectacular chocolate molten cake. But this isn't just any molten chocolate cake. It's made with premium bittersweet dark chocolate—70 percent cacao—and filled with cardamom-infused white chocolate. Stick your fork in and swirl the heavenly, oozing pieces of chocolate cake into the vanilla ice cream served on the side.
Chocolate Ginger Honey Crunch, EP & LP, Los Angeles
The standout Southeast Asian food and craft cocktails at L.A.'s multi-level Asian restaurant EP & LP has attracted famous faces like Matt Damon, Chris Hemsworth, Al Pacino, Harry Styles, Eva Mendes, Gerard Butler and the Jonas brothers. The equally ingenious, playful desserts are part of the reason why. Try the chocolate ginger honey crunch, which combines two pieces of chocolate ginger honey crunch with luxe milk chocolate, honeycomb and housemade crystallized ginger. Photo by Daniel Collopy.
Marchesi, Fiola Mare, Washington, D.C.
Washington D.C's elegant Italian restaurant Fiola Mare had us at Tuscan Amedei chocolate. The pricey Italian variety, considered one the world's most expensive chocolates, is front and center in the can’t-miss Marchesi dessert, which also brings together pistachio mousse, mint puree, crystallized mint and salty toasted pistachios for a luscious last course. Photo courtesy of Fiola Mare/ Instagram.
Warm Chocolate Cake, La Sirena Clandestina, Chicago
Chicago's La Sirena Clandestina draws crowds for its Brazilian cuisine and Latin American-inspired cocktails. The warm dark chocolate cake gives everything else on the menu a run for its money, thanks to the generous amounts of espresso fudge, crumbled chestnut amaretti cookies, candied quince and mascarpone creme. You might want to forget bringing a date here, because you know what that means: You'd have to share.
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