BEST DESSERTS (2005)
www.chefallens.com Roasted banana. Brandied spiced apple. Cinnamon toffee crunch. Toasted almond amaretto. And those are just some of the sorbet and ice cream flavors. Chef Allen Susser is far more renowned for spinning gastronomic magic via his tropics-inspired palm-tree cuisine than for his ability to spin sugar, but pastry chef Jennifer Brown takes care of that for him. Desserts at Susser's Aventura restaurant are like sublime character actors stealing the last scene in a movie. The most talked-about pastry is the chocolate-hazelnut Kit Kat bar with orange mint sauce and espresso ice cream. But don't underestimate the appeal of warm upside-down banana cake with caramel, chocolate, and French vanilla ice cream. Or caramelized apple and pistachio-custard napoleon with rum butterscotch sauce, apple chutney, and cinnamon ice cream. You might also want to try some Earl Grey tea -- not in a cup but seeped into lemon-scented crme brùlée. As gorgeously plated and worthwhile as these compositional desserts are, soufflés are justifiably the signature finish. Flavors vary, but an insanely intense orange is always in the house and will never let you down.
Readers´ Choice: Cheesecake Factory
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