Hospitality Trend: Decadent desserts at innovative hotels
When it comes to desserts, cupcakes, and molten lava chocolate cakes are passé. Hotel restaurants are pushing the sweet-tooth envelope with innovative desserts that their guests will remember in their dreams. These desserts are adding a memorable moment for a vacationing guest or adding a highlight to a weary business traveler.
Beyond epic desserts
The word “epic” can be overused, but it is appropriate when describing these desserts. The Trump Hotel Chicago, launched in 2007, is known for offering their guests an unparalleled experience, and this extends to their dessert menu at Terrace at Trump. Sundaes are a standard dessert at a local ice cream parlor, but Terrace at Trump offers extravagant ice cream sundae. This sundae is called the “$100 Sundae”, and is made with twenty scoops of ice cream, and topped with macerated strawberries, chocolate crunch, milk chocolate rocher, pistachio nougat, raspberries, strawberry pearls, mascarpone cream, griots, caramel and chocolate sauce.
The $100 sundae actually seems like a steal compared to the thousand dollar sundae at Serendipity 3 at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. This sundae, the Golden Opulence Sundae, was created to celebrate Serendipity’s 50th anniversary and holds the Guinness World Record as the "most expensive dessert" ever to be created. This epic dessert (epic is not an overstatement here!) takes over an hour to create, and served in a crystal goblet. The foot-tall sundae comes with five scoops of rich Tahitian vanilla ice cream, topped with 23K edible gold leaf, rare chocolates made from cocoa beans found only on the Venezuelan coast, and an array of exotic fruits. Even the silverware is over-the-top, as the guest can enjoy the sundae with an 18K golden spoon!
The Sage Restaurant in the Aria hotel, also in Las Vegas, is adding their own epic twist to the ordinary candy bar with the inclusion of foie gras. Foie gras is a luxury food product made of the liver of a duck or goose that has been specially fattened, and is found on many non-dessert fine dining menus. The Sage Restaurant’s dessert menu features the Foie Gras Candy Bar, served with salt & pepper peanut butter ice cream, bourbon caramel, and single-origin milk chocolate. What’s next – caviar crusted chocolate chip cookies?
Bacon boom hits dessert menus
The bacon trend has been booming for years, and is showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, fashionable hotel restaurants are adding bacon to their desserts, for extra uniqueness with a burst of flavor.
Boston’s Envoy Hotel, known for bold originality, is part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection. The hotel features the Outlook Kitchen and Bar, which overlooks the city and features a Maple Bacon Bread Pudding. This decadent dessert is then topped with candied pecans, maple toffee, and brown butter pecan gelato. What, no bacon crumbles on top?
The St. Regis, located in historic Aspen, Colorado, features the Shadow Mountain Lodge restaurant. The cozy restaurant is welcoming, with a roaring fireplace and a gelato flight that features bacon! The flight comes with three innovative flavors – maple bacon, lemon meringue, and red velvet. The savory flavors of the maple bacon gelato are contrasted to the sweetness of the other two gourmet flavors.
Yogurt adds a cultured appeal to desserts
Innovative hotel desserts are getting a healthy twist with the addition of yogurt, both traditional yogurt. and the exploding Greek yogurt. Yogurt is being utilized by these creative chefs in many ways, from a frozen topping to a creamy ingredient.
Yogurt is being used as a dessert topping at hotels across the country. The Roosevelt New Orleans is home to the Domenica restaurant, led by Chef Alon Shaya. This rustic Italian eatery with a modern twist features a Citrus Upside Down Cake topped with local satsuma (a citrus fruit), pistachio and Progress Milk Farm yogurt.
The Coq d’Or (French for Golden Cockerel or "young rooster") is an illustrious restaurant in Chicago’s Drake Hotel and has been voted one of Chicago's Best Restaurants & Lounges for its historical significance. The dessert menu features not one, but two desserts with yogurt, including a Baked Alaska, made with Pistachio Cake, Brittany Butter Cookie, Greek Yogurt Sorbet, and Raspberry Gelato. In addition to the Baked Alaska, they also feature a creative carrot cake, made with cardamom yogurt, sour cream gelato, chocolate soil, and carrot chips. Yogurt lovers will have a hard time deciding between these two choices!
Glorious goat cheese desserts
Goat cheese has been popular with foodies for years now, and the trend is trickling onto dessert menus. In addition to being on the dessert cheese plates, goat cheese is being incorporated into standard sweet dessert items, both as a topping and as the main ingredient.
The Boca Raton Resort & Club, a Waldorf Astoria resort that is part of the Hilton family, features the Bar Luna. This trendy nightspot serves a variety of inspired cocktails and drinks, plus innovative desserts. One of these desserts is their Whipped Goat Cheese Cheesecake with lemon curd, fresh berries, and waffle cone chips. The Sage Restaurant in the Aria hotel menus a Goat Cheese Mousse served with celery, cherry, and pink peppercorn. Goat cheese mousse and foie gras candy bars at one restaurant? That’s heaven for foodies and hipsters alike!
The Mandarin Oriental Miami hotel features the La Mar restaurant, which offers a taste of Peru in Miami. This innovative restaurant combines both the goat cheese trend with the yogurt trend in one unique dish, the Beso De Moza. This dish features a Peruvian chocolate shell, strawberry and rocoto meringue, crispy quinoa, and goat yogurt ice cream.
Today’s hotel restaurants are ahead of the curve with dessert trends and are leading the industry with their creativity. Hotel owners, as well as the hotel staff, can be proud of their delicious accomplishments.