There's always room for dessert. The final course of a meal is the punctuation for your palate. If it's delicious, your meal memories will end with an exclamation point. We all want a happy ending, which is why dessert is so critical in the dining process.
For many years, when it came to desserts in Miami, only one name surfaced: Hedy Goldsmith of the Genuine Hospitality Group. Now, with her departure from the Magic City, the door is wide open for other dessert creations and pastry chefs to shine. With all the recent restaurant openings, it's time to catalog what's happening in the world of sweets and count down the ten best new desserts in Miami.
10. Green Tea and Vanilla Soufflé at Soho Bay
You've probably indulged in a chocolate soufflé, but for something a bit unusual and with a stellar view of Star Island, head to Soho Bay for dessert. The matcha green tea and vanilla soufflé ($11) is unlike any dessert in town. The consistency and earthiness of flavors that the matcha provides is unmatched. To weigh down the lightness of this treat, a thick lemongrass crème anglaise begs to be poured all over.
9. Panna Cotta at Made in Italy
Desserts in America and Miami are generally showy: cherries, nuts, and sauce. But Italians like to keep it simple. That's why when you head to Made in Italy, the gorgeous market and eatery in Wynwood, your waiter from Milan, using lots of hand gestures, will assure you that the panna cotta here is the best. Believe him. There may be some strawberries on top, but the texture and taste of this creamy dessert make it one of the finest versions in town.
8. Churro Milkshake at STK Miami
As the adage goes, everything old is new again. Miami missed STK for almost two years while it underwent renovations, but now it's back, with its new famed dessert. The churro milkshake with dulce de leche ice cream, cinnamon liqueur, and churro bites is a slurpable highlight of any visit to this modern steak house.
7. Fennel Panna Cotta at Cena
Miamians like things over-the-top, including our desserts (tres leches, anyone?), but sometimes it's best to scale back. The fennel panna cotta with rhubarb compote and gingersnaps ($9) at Cena (formerly Michy's) is a fun ride. Herbaceous fennel sprigs lighten up the dessert, and the sweetness of rhubarb and the zing of a gingersnap snap you back to reality. It's a unique journey far beyond one-note desserts.
6. Peaches at Alter
Alter only recently opened, but one of its desserts — simply called peaches ($8) — has already garnered a ton of buzz. According to chef Brad Kilgore, this is his kind of dessert: pieces of banana bread, a scoop of pretzel ice cream, white chocolate confit, and fresh peach slices. When you try this new restaurant, this dessert should be high on your hit list.
5. Pa Amb Llet at Niu Kitchen
Life is short — eat dessert first. You can sample the sweet pa amb llet during Niu's Catalan brunch. Because Niu's small kitchen lacks a fryer, the chefs can't prepare torrijas properly, so they created something magical and innovative. They soak bread in milk, cinnamon, and lemon for a rich pudding and then top it with a thin layer of crema catalana brûlée and a scoop of tangerine gelato ($8). It's a structural and textural wonder that will tingle your tastebuds.
4. Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich at Proof Pizza & Pasta
A grown-up ice-cream sandwich is one that uses French macarons for bookends. For a fun and tasty one, look no further than Proof, which currently serves a version with salted caramel and pretzel ($7). The combination is salty and sweet and a whole lot of awesome. Flavors change monthly, so stay tuned and bite in quickly before it melts away.
3. Killa Brownie Sundae at Station 5 Table & Bar
Station 5 is so cool that it refers to its desserts as "kitchen candy." This South Miami restaurant slays in the dessert department with its killa sundae ($8). For the ultimate death by dessert, order this monstrosity — a decadent brownie slathered in Reese's Pieces sauce and house-made fluffernutter and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Peanut butter cups ride along to really spike your blood sugar.
2. Carrot Cake at Market at Edition
You might be thinking, Seriously, carrot cake? Oh, yes. This is hands down the best carrot cake ($8) of your life. The moist cake and smooth cream cheese frosting pair perfectly, and that's not all. Topping the slice are little crisp balls, which happen to be dulce de leche Rice Krispies, the tastiest treat ever.
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1. Persian Sundae at Fooq's
The new midtown gelato joint Latteria Italiana makes a myriad of delectable flavors, from cantaloupe to savory selections, but what it creates for Fooq's is pure magic. Saffron-and-rosewater gelato is enhanced in the sundae ($10) that Fooq's concocts. The proverbial cherry on top is a sweet and salty mix of sesame paste halvah, crushed pistachios, pomegranate molasses, and sticky strips of medjool dates. It's a delicate dessert in a dainty cup that hits all areas of your palate like culinary pinball.
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