Sunday, November 20, 2011

It's Amazing, it's Incredible, it's Extraordinary Desserts

Allow me to introduce you to the appropriately
named Dame Chocolat.  Try not to drool.  
There are precious few dessert places that have made me lose my mind. The first time I walked into this next little gem located in beautiful downtown San Diego, since there were a million beautiful treats displayed everywhere, I literally started skipping from one dessert to the other, in a desperate attempt to view all of these amazing creations in the shortest amount of time possible (thank you to my always-embarrassed friends who accompany me on these little dessert adventures).

In fact, this next little gem inspired me to start a fun contest.  At the end of the year, I will be highlighting My Top 5 Best Desserts of 2011.  Congratulations, Extraordinary Desserts, for being considered for this truly amazing honor.
Even the sign is extraordinary.

In addition to having some of the most beautiful mouth-watering desserts in existence, Extraordinary Desserts is one of the hippest, most artfully decorated venues I have ever seen.  When I took my first step inside, while the space is quite large and slightly overwhelming, I felt a delicious combination of total happiness and yet, total zen.   To better understand this confusing experience, I will explain it in mathematical terms, which should be especially helpful to any engineers.

Gorgeously decorated cakes + pies + cookies + tortes + chocolates = happiness.
Well-organized space + giant silver Buddha = zen.

Surprise!  The Sunday Brunch Buffet!
I met a friend for lunch there--they also serve real food and wonderful and rare teas too--with the strategy of quickly ordering a bowl of soup or something passable as lunch, so we could get to the good stuff immediately.  So imagine my good fortune at stumbling across the Extraordinary Dessert Sunday Brunch Buffet!

Brunch is hands down my favorite mealtime.  Why?  Easy.   Most breakfast items can technically qualify as desserts (Almond crusted french toast drizzled in maple syrup?  Pumpkin waffles with candied walnuts?), but more importantly, it's this: no one thinks you're crazy if you eat dessert at brunch.  Pick up a brownie for breakfast, you might get some stares.  Grab a slice of blueberry cheesecake at brunch?  Perfectly acceptable.
My attempt to appear normal by eating "lunch" type food.
From the super cute make your own sandwich bar.
As if there weren't enough desserts around, luscious
strawberry, blueberry and raspberry pastries
entice you at the end of the buffet.  I tried one of each
for research purposes.

After lunch, which did include mini desserts, it took us 1.24 seconds to decide that additional dessert was in order.  Off to the dessert counter (and more skipping)!

Selecting which beautiful, delectable treat to try was truly one of the most challenging parts of this experience.  I somehow narrowed it down to three choices.  Here they are, for your viewing pleasure.

Toasted Macadamia Caramel Cheesecake,
covered in gorgeous roses, dahlias and calla lilies. 

Honestly I can't remember what these are.  Napoleans?
Does it matter?  Look at these things.  AHHH!
La Dame Chocolat, adorned with a single phalaeonopsis orchid,
roses, gerber daisies, tuberose and a happy little green bow.

Did you guess Dame Chocolat?  (If you didn't, you're slow.  Check out the first photo I shared).  I get a bit crazy over chocolate anything, but the description of this Grande Dame of all Tortes nearly sent me over the edge: intense, dark chocolate mousse floating between a light layer of flourless chocolate cake, covered in chocolate ganache and fresh chocolate shavings.  All I heard was chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate.

We could have ordered an entire cake, but that would
have been silly.  We just had lunch!  With desserts!
So instead we ordered a little slice.   Silly Ryan.
The Dame Chocolat lived up to her name.  The mousse was perfectly creamy, bursting with the intenseness of rich dark chocolate, while the airy flourless chocolate cake provided a nice balance to the overall richness of the dessert.  Just a few bites were all I needed.

I highly recommend visiting Extraordinary Desserts anytime you're in San Diego.  I also highly recommend that when I'm in San Diego and invite you to a party, and you're asked to bring something to said party, and oh let's also say you also live about 30 seconds away from Extraordinary Desserts, I was thinking maybe you could bring something from Extraordinary Desserts.  You know, maybe. 

Extraordinary Desserts
1430 Union Street 
San Diego, CA 92101