My true love was thrilled with the heart-shaped strawberry layer cake I ordered from Piece of Cake. Her big, brown eyes widened when I placed it on the kitchen counter, cut it open and passed out slices of the moist, delicious pink pastry.
Then, when I wasn’t looking, she knocked it off the counter, hunched over the splattered mess and licked the entire thing off the floor.
Yeah, sometimes love bites. And slobbers. And chases the cat into the basement.
Come Valentine’s Day, my true love — a Lab mix named Tessa — will be sleeping in the doghouse. My wife and I might consider dinner out in a restaurant. Many of the city’s top restaurants are serving special Valentine’s Day menus. As is often the case on Cupid’s special day, the most exciting courses of these meals are dessert.
So, shall we cut to the chase?
Before you make your reservations, consider the desserts being served around town at these restaurants:
The Midtown restaurant has a dessert special that should be called “Call a cab, get a room.” Three different sparkling wines pair with three cream-filled profiteroles: J. Vineyards Cuvee Brut with a rose petal and pistachio cream filling, Schramsberg Mirabelle Brut Rose sparkling wine with milk chocolate mousse filling, and Piper Heidsieck Demi-Sec Cuvee Sublime with a tangerine crème brûlée.
565 Peachtree St., Atlanta. 404-835-1410
It is almost tempting to eat at home, just to replace the incredibly delicious indulgence of strawberry cake — a popular flavor that the local bakery chain trots out at special times during the year. The moist cake and sweet frosting taste all the better for the strawberry jam, with its crunchy seeds, that separate the layers. It will be available at all three Piece of Cake locations.
10971 Crabapple Road, Roswell. 770-643-4999; 3215 Roswell Road, Atlanta. 404-351-2253; 307-A E. College Ave., Decatur, 404-378-8585
Pastry chef Kathryn King will prepare a chocolate sampler — the “Sarah Bernhardt” no less — with all kinds of goodies at this Buckhead fine-dining favorite. Milk chocolate caramel, a “cool and crunchy” bar, raspberry pâté de fruit, Valrhona chocolate sauce, chocolate meringue and bittersweet chocolate ice cream are a few of the items chosen to evoke the spirit of the great actress.
490 E. Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta. 404-233-7673
Things heat up at this elegant Norcross restaurant, named for a Bible verse. Owner-chef Barbara DiJames will prepare a milk chocolate pie with pretzel crust and a chili-spiced caramel sauce. Sweet, salty and a little hot.
5155 Peachtree Parkway, Norcross. 678-421-1720
The matching-libation theme shows up at Alpharetta’s smart and popular Kozmo Gastro Pub. A thick slab of orange-chili cheesecake comes with drizzles of caramel sauce and an espresso martini shot on the side.
11890 Douglas Road, Alpharetta. 678-526-6094
When chocolate speaks with a French accent, that’s amour. The Manjari chocolate cremeux is a rich, glossy, layered wedge served with all kinds of sauce, ice cream and one of those cool-looking squiggly thingamajigs made from spun sugar. But, you know you had her at “cremeux.”
621 North Ave., Atlanta. 678-904-0160
Pastry chef Lisa Smith lightens the mood and prepares a couple of special desserts appropriate to the Buckhead restaurant’s Asian fusion menu. Consider these: rose panna cotta with strawberry sorbet and strawberry salad or a passion fruit/blood orange baked Alaska.
3455 Peachtree Road, Atlanta. 404-237-9070
The restaurant in the Georgian Terrace Hotel will serve chocolate ganache dumplings with caramel consommé and something called orange blossom aroma. Hey, if your dessert’s wearing perfume, you know it’s pretty fancy stuff.
659 Peachtree St., Atlanta. 404-897-5000
Nothing spells romance like, you know, pizza for dessert. Pastry chef Libby Muldawer makes the most intriguing Valentine’s dessert ever — a puff-pastry pizza topped with organic strawberry jam, fresh berries, stracchino, fontina and mascarpone cheeses and aged balsamic. Viva Italia! Hold the anchovies!
41 14th St., Atlanta. 404-875-8424
Love means never having to say you’re finished. So this Inman Park bistro is going with “small bite desserts” — little bitty things you can eat one after the other — warm fudge tart, coconut cream pie, carrot cake, peaches with mascarpone crema and pecans, lemon curd cheesecake and…
… Honey, should we get the check?
471 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta. 404-525-3363