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Eats and Drinks

Best Dessert

Seven Tastes of Chocolate

Joy America Café, American Visionary Art Museum, 800 Key Highway., (410) 244-6500, www.avam.org/joyamerica

Posted 9/21/2005

This was the year for rediscovering the expressive, alluring, and, joyful pan-Latin cuisine of Spike Gjerde, whose full-time return to the kitchen signaled a return to form. Much ink has been spilled, here and elsewhere, in praise of Joy America’s tableside guacamole service. But equally life-enriching is the surprise awaiting diners on the meal’s other side, the mystically named Seven Tastes of Chocolate ($8.25). Intended to be shared, this is an architectural arrangement of seven baked- or concocted-in-house items, spanning the full chocolate range from bitter to sweet—warm flourless chocolate cake, bitter chocolate coulis, warm chocolate tart, pine-nut bark, chocolate croquant, chocolate-chili ice cream, and a Patrón Anejo truffle rolled in crisps. It’s not gimmickry (Death by Chocolate!); it’s a flight of fancy moored by respect for its individual components and Mexican cuisine.

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Other Awards for Best Dessert:

PB&J Delight, 9/16/2009

Smearcase At Chameleon Café, 9/17/2008

The Bicycle's Bread Pudding, 9/19/2007

Original Colosseo at Vaccaro's, 9/20/2006

Lemon-Grass Sorbet at Soigné, 9/18/2002

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