14 Dessert Tasting Menus for Sweet Freaks
There’s an old saying: life is short, eat dessert first. Now pastry chefs are making that adage easier to embrace by crafting sweet-centric tasting menus that are just as intricate as their savory counterparts. These sugar-wielding wizards love to remix the classics, experiment with unexpected ingredients, and conjure up unexpected presentations. Here are 15 dessert tasting menus from around the world that showcase creative confections you’ll want to eat first—and last.
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong
The Sweet Soiree tasting menu is an all-you-can-eat sugar binge. Featuring everything from lemon tarts to pistachio-hazelnut-chocolate financiers, the array of classic French mille-feuille—three layers of puff pastry alternated with rich pastry creams—steal the show.
Dominique Ansel Kitchen in New York City
This summer, the eight-course, sweets-only U.P. (Unlimited Possibilities) menu at the cronut creator’s newly minted boutique bakery became available to guests. Tastings revolve around a theme, which will change twice a year. Inaugural offerings are inspired by life’s memorable moments, such as the first job and the first kiss (an experience Ansel evokes with raspberries, fresh mint, and vanilla cream).
Fig & Olive in New York City
Pastry chef Andrew LeStourgeon’s four-course tasting menu is designed for dessert fiends who want to end their meal on a sugar-high note. The miniaturized delicacies include chocolate pot de crème, orange panna cotta accented with strawberry-basil jam and a scoop of orange sorbet, a crunchy praline and playful dessert crostini made by topping shortbread with mascarpone, cherries, and pistachios.
Ruby Jewel in Portland, Oregon
Here’s a phrase we never knew existed, but are overjoyed to discover: ice-cream tasting flight. Choose six scoops of seasonally inspired, small-batch flavors, such as strawberry-rhubarb crisp, Thai iced tea, caramel bacon brittle, and sweet cream with bourbon caramel sauce. Or choose three flavors, two toppings, and a sauce. You can’t go wrong either way.
Modern Gramma in Boston
These eclectic pop-up dessert tastings from pastry chef Justin Burke-Samson showcase playfully updated grandmother-style goodies. Recent sweet treats include maple bacon Pop-Tarts and s’mores-inspired moon pies.
Devour Dessert Bar in Adelaide, Australia
After the sun goes down, this jewel box of a patisserie transforms into dessert bar, where guests can enjoy five-course tastings from pastry chef Quang Nguyen. Offerings rotate regularly, but might include a Snickers-flavored macaron, doughnut sundae, or lemon meringue pie.
laV Restaurant & Wine Bar in Austin, Texas
Executive pastry chef Janina O’Leary loves to reimagine childhood favorites for her three-course finale. Black pepper shortbread and chamomile swirl ice cream accompany lemon budino, while a warm brioche doughnut is paired with a scoop of über-decadent foie gras ice cream.
Range in Washington, D.C.
Sit down at the recherché candy counter here to enjoy a three-course extravaganza from executive pastry chef Chris Ford. The first bite is a sneak preview of a new creation, the second is a reimagined presentation of a current favorite on the dessert menu, and the third course is a selection of dainty bonbons from the sweets-filled glasses cases in front of you.
The St. Regis Bal Harbour in Bal Harbour, Florida
During afternoon tea, pastry chef Antonio Bachour offers a more-epic-than-epic dessert tasting menu. Guests are showered with sweets, including chocolate bonbons, napoleons, raspberry-vanilla custard, Key lime pies, macarons, and much, much more.
Per Se in New York City
To keep sweets lovers’ coming back, executive pastry chef Elwyn Boyles and pastry chef Anna Bolz change the dessert tasting menu daily. Recent highlights include a haute PB&J made with devil’s food cake, Concord grape sorbet, and toasted Virginia peanuts, and a biscuit box filled with revamped childhood favorites like Mallomars and Girl Scout cookies.
Dante in Cleveland
Three’s a charm. At Dante, diners handpick a trio of desserts from the day’s menu, such as malted panna cotta with Momofuku Milk Bar–inspired cereal milk ice cream, ginger spice cake accompanied by grapefruit sorbet, or pistachio tartlet accented with vibrant mango mousse.
William Curley in London
Take a seat at the counter to watch pastry chefs in action while you pamper yourself with five courses of premium pastries. Options change frequently, but might include elegant and refined versions of classics, such as peach melba in the form of poached peaches atop a creamy vanilla panna cotta.
The Dessert Club in New York City
Enjoy a trio of treats at the twelve-seat counter at this primo pastry shop from chef Chika Tillman. Pick from indulgences such as warm apple pudding cake sitting in a pool of vanilla crème anglaise, super-smooth brown sugar panna cotta, and mocha-hazelnut trifle amped with coffee ice cream.
Dessance in Paris
Order the Tout Sucré menu to enjoy Everything Sweet. Chef Christophe Boucher forges artfully plated, avant-garde desserts—think puréed pears with chervil root cream and strawberries with parsley ice cream—that delight the senses and confound convention.