Too often, restaurant entrees leave you subtly unbuttoning your pants as you accept the bill. Most people don’t make it to dessert, despite their yearning for delicious ala mode goodness. But there are some sweet treats you just shouldn’t miss.
Here are some swoon-worthy desserts in the tri-states:
Location: 299 Main St., Dubuque.
Delicacies: Barrel House’s dessert menu boasts the Chocolate Bomb Cake — chocolate cake topped with chocolate mousse, covered in rich dark chocolate ganache, drizzled with white chocolate and served on a black raspberry melba sauce. Enough chocolate to last you a lifetime — or for the two minutes after it arrives at your table.
Location: 1689 Elm St., Dubuque.
Delicacies: This barbecue joint serves delicious loaded fries and pulled pork sandwiches, but you can’t skip out on its fried peach cream wrap. The ooey-gooey dessert is fruit-filled, but don’t be fooled. It’s outstandingly indulgent (in the best way).
Location: 342 Main St., Dubuque.
Delicacies: The Vault’s lemon berry mascarpone dessert is rich, yet refreshing and sweet, yet tangy. Order it with the Lavender Bees Knees cocktail for a delicate post-dinner pairing that won’t disappoint.
Pete’s Thai Kitchen
Location: 609 E. 22nd St., Dubuque.
Delicacies: Indulge during your night out with one of these sweet treats. The coconut-battered fried banana and ice cream is simple and satisfying. If you want to try something unique, go for the sticky rice with mango. The sweet marinated rice with fresh mangoes and coconut sauce is a Thai delight.
Pepper Sprout Midwestern Cuisine
Location: 378 Main St., Dubuque.
Delicacies: Pepper Sprout rotates its menu seasonally, but the deliciousness of its desserts never wavers. Chef’s choice is made fresh daily. The decadently creamy cheesecake is a showstopper, but the comforting bread pudding and delicate lemon tarts are wonderful as well.
Brazen Open Kitchen + Bar
Location: 955 Washington St., Suite 101, Dubuque.
Delicacies: Brazen offers multiple desserts each day, all of which are uniquely amazing. The vegan chocolate cake is moist, smooth and rich. You’ll hardly believe it’s vegan. The creme brûlée is a crowd favorite. Crack the signature torched-sugar shell to reveal melt-in-your-mouth, creamy custard.
Mario’s Italian Restaurant
Location: 1298 Main St., Dubuque.
Delicacies: Established in 1977, this traditional Italian restaurant knows its way around classic desserts. The cannoli bursts with filling and flavor. The thick, fluffy mascarpone layers of the tiramisu will make you feel like you’re in Italy.
Location: 1072 Main St., Dubuque.
Delicacies: After enjoying your meal at L.May — try the salmon or pot roast — prepare to consume copious amounts of chocolate. The dark chocolate mousse with candied pecans and cinnamon coconut milk ice cream is a must-have. Wear loose pants for this one because you might just want to devour the whole thing.
The Food Store
Location: 1109 Iowa St., Dubuque.
Delicacies: This store/deli prides itself on its use of fresh, organic produce. See it shine in a 5-inch pie filled with fresh seasonal fruit. The sweet treat is a perfect dessert for two — or one. I won’t tell.
Hops & Rye
Location: 1108 Locust St., Dubuque.
Delicacies: This speakeasy-inspired restaurant’s Belgian chocolate mousse cake with raspberry sauce is a can’t-miss. Its richness is balanced by the fruity drizzle. It’s perfect as you sip on an a specialty martini.
Ava Hoelscher is a freelance writer from Dubuque.