Family Featured Food, Restaurants & Dining Fara Illich July 2, 2013

There’s no shortage of desserts Downtown. From chocolate to blueberries to bacon to chipotle ice cream, there’s a little something for anyone with a sweet tooth.
To celebrate sweet treats, I went on a little tasting tour of desserts Downtown.
AZ citrus mint gelati SMMy first stop was District American Kitchen and Wine Bar where Pastry Chef Winnona Herr treated me to two delicious desserts: Salted Caramel Chocolate Bar and AZ Citrus Mint Gelati. The Salted Caramel Chocolate Bar features a flourless chocolate cake with salted caramel and crispy cacao nibs served with chocolate shortbread and burnt marshmallow and chipotle ice cream. This dessert was rich and intriguing. The chipotle ice cream brings a nice little kick to it while the flavor of the dessert fades with the richness of the chocolate. Bonus: The marshmallows are made on-site! The AZ Citrus Mint Gelati was the standout dessert for me. The citrus-mint frozen ice paired with the honey vanilla frozen custard made this dessert a perfect summertime treat in the hot Arizona sun. I loved this dessert because it was light and refreshing. Two lavender shortbread sticks added an elegant delightfulness. Topped off with freshly snipped chocolate mint from restaurant’s rooftop garden, this AZ Citrus Mint Gelati dessert is a must-have for the summer!
My next stop was at the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown, which is home to Marston’s Cafe and ICON Lounge. Marston’s Cafe has a delicious dessert menu featuring two personal favorites: a Mascarpone Cheesecake with bourbon vanilla bean and strawberry chutney and a gluten-free Gianduja Chocolate Torte. Both are perfect for summer.
At ICON Lounge, dessert-goers will find sopapillas with a caramel sauce infused with bacon bits! Bacon mania has been all the rage with culinary dishes lately, so this is a fitting item for ICON Lounge’s menu.  The crunch and saltiness of the bacon combined with the caramel and puffy goodness of the sopapilla, or fired pastry, makes this intriguing twist on dessert something to check out. My personal favorite at ICON Lounge however, was the Bourbon Blueberry Bread Pudding. The blueberry compote and bread pudding transported me to comforting childhood memories of when my mom baked goodies while a fire burned in the fireplace. I felt very cozy enjoying this delicious dessert. It seemed like it was baked and prepared just for me.
Last but not least on my dessert overload was Fuego at CityScape. This cantina-style restaurant is tucked into the First Street side of CityScape and home to a mean slice of key lime pie. This key lime pie has more of a cheesecake texture and less of the typical Jello-like texture. This pie packs a punch with a very tangy yet rich taste. Feeling a bit stuffed from all the sweets, I found myself continuing to savor and enjoy bite after bite of this delectable dessert.
Next time you’re downtown Phoenix, save some room after your meal, bring a friend and dive in for some amazing desserts!
District American Kitchen and Wine Bar
320 N. Third Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004
(602) 817-5400
Renaissance Phoenix Downtown
Marston’s Cafe & ICON LOUNGE
50 E. Adams Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004
(602) 333-0000
Fuego CityScape
1 E. Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004
(602) 374-2541
* This post was written by both Alex Turley and Katie Brashear, Complex Director of Public Relations, Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel.