I’m not really a dessert Guy—except, I kind of am. You see, for me dessert is a meal in and of itself, not an afterthought tacked on to the end of a dinner. So I’m particularly fond of desserts that pattern themselves after savory dishes. And Las Vegas has plenty of good ones to offer. If you think like I do, here are a few ways to substitute sweets for sustenance.
Michael and Jenna Morton take their flatbreads seriously at both La Cave Food & Wine Hideaway (in Wynn, 702-770-7375) and Crush (in MGM Grand, 702-891-3222). And their perfect crusts also serve as bases for two amazing desserts. Crush’s Sweet Elvis ($12) features peanut butter, Nutella and banana slices, with a smattering of salty bacon bits to cut through the sugar. The S’mores Flatbread ($12) at La Cave is pure sweetness, thanks to hearty doses of milk chocolate, white chocolate, toasted marshmallows and graham cracker crumbs. For a bit of contrast, I recommend pairing the latter with a selection from the cheese menu. Truffle Tremor is my favorite.
I came across two astounding sweet spins on the classic sandwich at Hubert Keller’s Burger Bar. The Cream Cheese Cake Burger ($6.50) is a scrumptious pastry made with cheese cake and caramelized pineapple layered inside a split Krispy Kreme glazed donut. But it’s not nearly as visually appealing as the Nutella Mousse Burger ($6.50), for which passion fruit gelée replicates cheese, slices of fresh kiwi stand in for pickles and strawberries take the place of tomatoes atop the nutty chocolate patty. In the Shoppes at Mandalay Place, 702-632-9364, Burger-Bar.com.
As the weather heats up, Las Vegans certainly don’t need an excuse to enjoy ice cream. But Downtown Summerlin’s Cream gives us several, in the form of 20 mouth-watering flavors and 14 fun toppings. For a pseudo-Mexican spin, you can get three different scoops and two of those toppings on either a waffle cone tortilla shell or a red velvet one ($5). I’d love to tell you what I went with on my last visit, but the sugar high left me a bit hazy. 702-272-0072, CreamNation.com.
Spaghetti & Meatballs
Perhaps the most interesting gelato presentation in town comes from Trevi ($9). A mountain of vanilla ice cream is topped with a hand-piped sprawl that imitates noodles. Two chocolate spheres are used in place of meatballs. And everything is coated in a strawberry sauce. The illusion isn’t perfect, but I’d love to see a YouTube video of someone trying to pass this off as pasta to a 5-year-old child. In the Forum Shops at Caesars, 702-735-4663, Trevi-Italian.com.
Unlike the spaghetti and meatballs, the dessert enchilada ($10) at Mundo probably won’t appeal to small children, given its extremely complex flavor profile. It starts with a pecan crepe, which engulfs a selection of fresh citrus fruits. Fried flour buñuelos dusted with cinnamon-sugar imitate tortilla strips. And vanilla sauce and fresh mint complete the presentation. It’s a mixture of sweet and tart tastes that will shock and awe your palate. In the World Market Center, 702-270-4400, MundoLasVegas.com.