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Where to eat in Fort Worth right now: 5 restaurants with A+ desserts

February 8,2021

See full CultureMap article by Malcolm Mayhew here.

Dessert is a course that restaurants sometimes overlook. You might start with a cocktail, maybe an appetizer, and of course a great entree. But your meal is only as good as its last bite, especially on a day like Valentine's Day, when dessert serves as the most important part of a romantic meal. The closer, you may call it.

For our February Where to Eat, we recommend five romantic spots with killer desserts. (If you're still looking for a Valentine's restaurant for dining in or to-go, that list is here).

The dessert menu at this fine-dining downtown restaurant is as lengthy as it varied. There are deliciously imaginative dishes such as executive chef Blaine Staniford’s take on smores, which comes in the form of a decadent chocolate and hazelnut tart with burnt marshmallow ice cream and a toasted marshmallow topping. There’s also a wide selection of dessert wines, brandies, and sherries. 

Mercury Chophouse
For dessert with a view, the Arlington location of this local steakhouse chain is untouchable. It's in the Brookhollow II building, last occupied by La Cacharel restaurant, in a space that offers panoramic views of Arlington’s downtown area. A wide assortment of desserts and dessert drinks includes boozy coffee concoctions, decadent martinis, and a luscious Italian cream cake. But Valentine’s Day means chocolate, so go for the Chocolate Lava Cake, a circular slice of moist chocolate cake streaked with chocolate sauce and served with vanilla ice cream and seasonal fruit.

Piola Italian Restaurant and Garden
Housed in a 1940s cottage, this long-running Italian restaurant in the Cultural District is one of the city’s most romantic spots. Classic Italian dishes are the focus here, from eggplant parmigiano to chicken marsala to a straightforward – and delicious – lasagna. The restaurant does desserts well, too, serving Italian staples such as cannoli and tiramisu, as well as a superb chocolate ganache cake and a decadent cappuccino ice cream pie.

Long-running downtown restaurant is known for its rustic yet romantic atmosphere as well as its excellent desserts, made with a Texas twist. The silky banana pudding is a fave, as is the West Texas pecan pie. But adventurous desserters go for the signature chocolate bread pudding tamale, comprised of warm, chocolate bread pudding stuffed into a tamale husk, neatly tied at both ends.

Rise No. 3
Since opening three years ago in the Shops at Clearfork, the third location of this Dallas-based French concept has educated many a Fort Worthian in the ways of soufflés. In a cozy, eclectic atmosphere, Rise serves the classic French dish in both sweet and savory flavors. Is it overboard to order the truffle and mushroom soufflé for an entrée, then the pecan praline soufflé for dessert? Absolutely, but overindulgence is what romantic February is all about.

Locations Mentioned: Grace, Mercury Chop House, Reata Restaurant