This season, indulge in these delicious and classic Bend restaurant desserts.
You know the moment. You’re happily satiated by a meal, and then, the dessert menu arrives. The list is placed before you, suddenly the only thing you can see in the room, positively illuminated with its many virtues. Our advice? Say yes. Life is short, and Bend’s best pastry chefs know it. Here are a few of our favorite desserts from around town to enjoy this season.
Oregon Cider Berry Cobbler | The Row
Fresh off a trip to the mountain, stop by Tetherow’s The Row, the popular 19th hole of the golf resort, for a warm treat. The Oregon Cider Berry Cobbler offers something light as an alternative to the rich, heavy desserts that often come after winter meals. It’s a deconstructed cobbler, with two perfect slices of biscuit, a dollop of ice cream, and whole strawberries, blackberries and blueberries baked together in a sea of sweetness. Paired with a cup of coffee, and with flurries of snow falling around you, the dessert is a winter indulgence that will warm you up. — Bronte Dod
Donut Holes | Washington Dining & Cocktails
Perched on the corner of Mt. Washington just a short walk from Compass Park and Summit High School is Washington Dining & Cocktails,
A modern eatery that takes its casual chic queue from the surrounding NorthWest Crossing neighborhood. The menu features upscale comfort food prepared with a fine dining touch. You can keep it casual by ordering a double bacon cheeseburger with house-made pickles for dinner, or go upscale with beef tenderloin medallions with asparagus and potato hash. Whatever you order, don’t skip dessert. Washington features a classic flourless chocolate torte and crème brulee, but the most popular item is the donut holes. A ricotta-based treat that’s battered, deep-fried and then dusted with cinnamon sugar, the donuts are a great shareable item that are a little savory and a little sweet, said chef John Gurnee. “We wanted to keep a playful element to go with the casual theme and not be so elevated in our dessert menu.” We recommend pairing the donuts with ahandspun chocolate milkshake to complete the retro-casual theme. — Eric Flowers
Mozza’s Budino| Ariana Restaurant
Ariana Restaurant on Bend’s west side is consistently voted one of Central Oregon’s best fine dining locations. The luxurious interior with crystal chandeliers, chocolate colored woodworking and white tablecloths is as classy as it gets east of the Cascades. The menu equals in glamour, featuring octopus, duck and filet mignon. For dessert, tempt your taste buds with a dish that Ariana borrowed from Mozza Restaurant in Los Angeles. Mozza’s Budino is an Italian butterscotch pudding, blanketed with a layer of caramel and topped with vanilla whipped cream and a sprinkling of sea salt. The dessert is incredibly rich and best tasted in tiny dips of the spoon, perhaps alternated with sips of whiskey or champagne—just for balance, of course. My daughter and I enjoyed it straight up and still had a little leftover to take home in a plastic ramekin for her sister. Both girls declared the dessert “fancy” and the caramel the best they’d tasted anywhere. — Kim Cooper Findling
Sticky Toffee Date Cake | Joolz
My daughter and I were en route to Joolz restaurant in downtown Bend to taste the sticky toffee date cake when we encountered a friend. “I dream of Joolz date cake!” she exclaimed. Turns out she’s not the only one. Joolz owner Juli Hamdan said, “We put it on the menu our first holiday nine years ago and it has become a favorite that we don’t dare run out of on any given day.” Hamdan’s mother, a retired schoolteacher, bakes the cake, which is a cousin to sticky toffee pudding. “We use medjool dates, soak them for twenty-four hours and add a host of secret ingredients,” said Hamdan. As for those secret ingredients, I tasted cinnamon, ginger, maybe cardamom—all in perfect balance with not too much sweetness. The cake is the color of gingerbread, with a moist and savory consistency that melts on the tongue. Served warm, drenched in a bourbon caramel sauce and topped with whipped cream and a mint sprig, most of the slice was gobbled up by my daughter herself. “It’s a majestical wonder!” she proclaimed. I had to agree. — Kim Cooper Findling