How Sweet It Is
Some things just go together. Peanut butter and jelly. Dolce and Gabbana. Cocktails and dessert. Yes – cocktails and dessert. It’s a match made in empty coloric heaven and three Denver dessert bars continue to up the sugar ante.
D Bar, Crave and Sugarmill are the sweet spots at the moment and no matter the occasion, there’s just something just so right about a gorgeously crafted cocktail served up with a side of something sweet.
At D Bar, the dessert theme carries over to the cocktail menu. If you order the cake in a martini glass – a martini crafted with cake vodka and Godiva chocolate liquour – you may be inclined to skip the real cake altogether. For something a bit less rich (but no less delicious!) we also recommend the strawberry lemontini, with housemade lemonade and fresh strawberry. Don’t overlook the B.L.T., either. Far from the traditional take this is a delightful mix of bourbon, vanilla bean, lemonade and tonic.
On the dessert side of things, we like D Bar’s spin on the classics. Our favorites: the cake and shake, a 3-layer chocolate cake with a milkshake on the side; milk and cookies, a variety of cookies baked-to-order; and the molten chocolate cake, served up with a side of peanut butter ice cream.P.S. The ever popular joint is moving up a block to a much larger space at the end of the summer. We’re not sure the lines will ever be shorter (cake vodka and Godiva liquor? Hello…) but the space will be roomier, allowing larger parties to nosh and sip more comfortably.
While D Bar allows us to revisit our candy-coated childhood memories, Crave takes dessert and makes it all grown up. We love their sophisticated cocktails. The good ole fashion is a classic, with a touch of citrus oils. The chocolatier features spiced rum, Chambord and chocolate bitters. The bubble bee is a refreshing mix of Prosecco with honey.
The dessert menu is a bit daunting at first, with complex ingredient lists that could make your head spin. The key here is to point at something, trust the pastry chefs and go from there. You can’t go wrong! Our faves? The truffle cake, a devils food cake with candied hazelnuts, ganache, and blackberry ice cream; the PB&J, a plate of raspberry macaroons, peanut butter cheesecake, and strawberry white chocolate mousse; and the pucker-up doughnuts, donut rings with ganache, lemon curd and strawberry compote for dipping. What a mouthful (literally!)
Crave – Denver
The newest, albeit most popular kid on the pastry block is Sugarmill. A bakery in the daytime and lounge in the evening, Sugarmill knows their sweets. Start off with a Ladd & Co., a white wine and Prosecco cocktail with notes of peach balsamic and vermouth. The dessert menu has something for everyone, with everyday classics like tiramisu and pineapple upside down cake. For the more adventurous, we recommend these sweet treats: the chai bar, a flourless chocolate cake with chai chocolate cream and marshmallow ice cream; the chocolate and peanut butter brulee, with a refreshing strawberry-shiraz ice cream; and “shades of yellow,” a gluten-free orange chiffon cake with tropically-inspired flavors.
Featured image by the super fab Frances Marron, shot on location at Four Seasons Denver