Lately, a growing number of chefs and healthy-eating advocates have been telling us to think of meat as just a condiment, instead of as the centerpiece of a meal. We have a better idea: Can we have our meat for dessert? From marrow cake to foie gras bread pudding, here are some exquisitely meaty sweets that will end your meal with a bang instead of a whimper.
Chocolate Marrow Cake, The Blind Butcher, Dallas
If the menu at Dallas gastropub The Blind Butcher seems eclectic (think: fried cheese curds, pork belly poutine and chicken-fried quail), it’s because the ever-changing roster nods to every cuisine chef and partner Oliver Sitrin has ever sampled in his life. When the waiter swings by to ask about dessert, you'll want to ask for the chocolate marrow cake. No one-note dish, this is a beefy-sweet combination of roasted bone marrow and chocolate cold-brew cake batter whipped together until creamy, and then baked. Of course, what’s cake without ice cream? This one is served with the chef’s choice of flavors. Photo credit: Stephanie Roethlisberger
Pork Belly Donuts, The Sycamore, San Francisco
Celebs including Jason Segel and Jon Langford of British rock band The Mekons have hit The Sycamore in San Francisco for its pub food, craft beer, and board games from chess to Cards Against Humanity—and for its can’t-miss desserts, like the pork belly donuts. Bite-size chunks of slow-braised whole pork belly are beer-battered and deep-fried until golden brown, then tossed in a bourbon-maple-syrup glaze and topped with coarse sea salt. The dish is technically offered as an appetizer, not a dessert, but you can eat it whenever you want. We'll take one with every course, please. Photo courtesy of The Sycamore/Facebook
Black Truffle and Foie Gras Bread Pudding, Viviane, Los Angeles
Chef Michael Hung puts a contemporary spin on classic Continental cuisine at the mid-century-modern restaurant and bar Viviane, in Beverly Hills' Avalon Hotel. For anyone who thinks of bread pudding as a warm, soggy, raisin-filled dessert, this version is a game-changer. Soft and gooey on the inside and toasty on the outside, the black truffle and foie gras bread pudding comes with house-made hazelnut-spice Ice cream and hazelnut dragees (hard-shelled candies). Go big and spring for an extra dose of fresh shaved black truffles on top.
Rubber Ducky, Minibar by José Andrés, Washington D.C.
At Minibar by José Andrés, the Spanish star chef presents avant-garde cooking in a multicourse menu involving 25-30 small dishes. For one of the grand finales, you're likely to get the rubber-ducky dessert—which involves, yes, foie gras. The bright yellow bath-toy-inspired sweet arrives filled with foie gras ice cream and served on a shell of apple-flavored meringue, shaped to recall an old-fashioned bathtub.
Foie Gras Profiteroles, Le Pigeon, Portland
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