SWEET CONCLUSIONS

Eight desserts so good you’ll want to eat them first.

BY SU BYRON


1 For an authentic taste of Florida, try Chef Miguel’s Key Lime Pie at Café Venice. His mouthwatering creation follows a traditional Key West recipe, which demands the freshest Key lime juice, plenty of eggs and a crisp, crumbly, graham cracker crust. The result is a creamy ’n’ dreamy yellow custard that’s lighter than air and the ideal combination of tartness, sweetness, crunchy and smooth. 116 W. Venice Ave., Venice; (941) 484-1855.

2 The tiramasu at Cassariano Italian Eatery is legendary. It also packs a punch. Traditionally known as a pick-me-up (thanks to the espresso), this rich treat, filled with savory mascarpone cheese, will wake you up after a heavy meal. At Cassariano, the tiramasu is served with a heavenly topping of chocolate syrup, almonds and raspberry sauce. Admire its beauty, then devour. 313 W. Venice Ave., Venice, (941) 485-0507.

3 When it comes to comfort food, there’s nothing more comforting than bread pudding. The Crow’s Nest Marina Restaurant reinvents this classic in a delectable, decadent mix of sliced strawberries, almonds and chocolate chips. It’s smooth, custard-like and surprisingly light. Enjoy this treat while you’re admiring the beauty of the shimmering Gulf of Mexico. 1968 Tarpon Center Drive, Venice, (941) 484-9551.

4 What’s the secret of Yummies Donuts’ apple fritters? According to co-owner Karen Tines, “Apples. Lots of them. Sometimes, bigger is just better.” She defines the fritter as a huge, yeast-raised donut. “We load ours up with apples and cinnamon and our sweet glaze pools in the nooks and crannies. Served warm from the fryer, nothing tastes better,” she says. 5005 S.R. 776 Englewood Road, Venice, (941) 493-7170.

5 Picture a delectable berry cobbler, fresh from the Blu Island Bistro oven. Think crunchy crust on top with yummy berries tucked sweetly inside. Now imagine a Jim Beam sabayon sauce, rich with eggs and spirits, slathered over the top. Chef/owner Alan Laskowski’s sweet symphony takes nearly 40 minutes to bake, so it’s offered to guests while they’re making their entrée choices. 625 S. Tamiami Trail, Venice, (941) 485-8200.

6 Bananas Foster. This dessert at Roessler’s Restaurant,  made from bananas and vanilla ice cream, with a sauce made from butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, dark rum and banana liqueur, is as dramatic as it is sweet. The liqueur is added for a crowd-pleasing flambé flash at tableside. The dish was invented at the original Brennan’s Restaurant in New Orleans’ French Quarter. Chef Klaus Roessler Jr. says his father, Klaus Roessler Sr., worked there and brought back the recipe to Venice. It’s been setting hearts aflame ever since. 2033 Vamo Way, Osprey, (941) 966-5688.

7 Ah, how sweetly tart it is. We’re talking the spin on the Key lime crème brûlée you’ll find at Fins at Sharkys. This multilayered creation includes a crust of crushed graham crackers, coconut, oats, brown sugar, honey and butter roasted to crunchy perfection, a top-secret Key lime pie recipe filling, and a topping of caramelized sprinklings of natural torbinado sugar, garnished with raspberries. 1600 Harbor Drive S., Venice, (941) 999-3467.

Scones lfqli8
Indulge in a tray of moist, tender scones topped with thick lemon curd and clotted cream.

8 Considering an authentic high tea in honor of Downton Abbey? Mary Sanborn, the pastry chef and owner of 3 Sisters Tea, suggests you indulge in a tray of moist, tender scones topped with thick lemon curd and clotted cream—all of it house-made daily. Put on your daintiest white gloves and head there for the delightful, three-tiered afternoon tea service, and party like the royals. 225 W. Miami Ave., Suite 5, Venice, (941) 882-4520. |||

*Our “8 Great” lists are not listed in order of preference.

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