When I was twelve I asked my mom if I could have dessert for dinner and she told me no – when I grew up I could have all the dessert for dinner I wanted. Guess what? Once I became a grownup I did just that! I would eat tubs of ice cream, cake, brownies, Sundaes – you name it, I was eating whatever sugary concoction my heart desired for dinner.
For my recent birthday in December I once again dove head first into a dessert-only dinner (well, I DID have a nibble of one appetizer – does that count as a square dinner?). The Hubs took me to Napa for a weekend getaway and we spent most of our time in Yountville filling our bellies. As he mentioned in his review of Redd, the morning started with Birthday Brunch at Ad Hoc, then we lunched at Fatted Calf and finished with dinner at Redd, which is where Operation Dessert Storm unfolded.
After walking to no less than four restaurants to check out their menus (it’s ridiculous how many amazing eats there are within walking distance in Yountville) we finally settled on Redd. We ordered two appetizers and three desserts. Ok, HE ordered the appetizers as his meal and I ordered the desserts — oh, those wonderful desserts!!
In no particular order, they were:
- Butterscotch Pudding with Vanilla Anglaise, Toffee, and Pretzel Bits
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Beignets, Bitter Caramel Ice Cream with Caramelized Bananas
- Pumpkin Cream Cheese Mousse, Ginger Gelee, Molasses Cake
The butterscotch wasn’t what I expected it to be. Instead of being a thick, velvety pudding it was light, with a frothy vanilla anglaise on top. It was intensely flavored without being overly heavy or decadent. Little bits of toffee and pretzels accompanied every bite.
The pumpkin cream cheese mousse with molasses cake was deeeeeelicious! The mousse was light and fluffy, with just the right balance of pumpkin and cream cheese flavor. I remember it not being too sweet or heavy tasting, the sweetness coming mainly from the molasses cake, which was very moist and bursting with smoky molasses flavor.
This last dessert that I’m about to describe was my absolute favorite of the night. They were little beignets, some filled with chocolate and the others with peanut butter. Bitter caramel ice cream came on the side with caramelized banana slices. The beignet fried dough wasn’t too thick, crunchy on the outside with a little chewiness on the inside. The dark chocolate filling was more like a ganache, warm and rich with a consistency slightly thinner than a truffle. The filling on the peanut butter beignets was smooth and creamy, made with homemade peanut butter. The bitter caramel ice cream was just that: a little bitter, slightly sweet with a little saltiness, it was a perfect complement to the sweeter elements of the dessert.
Oh I almost forgot to mention, the chef had written “Happy Birthday” on all three of my dessert plates. It was such a nice and cute touch that I had a permanent grin planted on my face the whole night. Aside from a very full tummy, I also left that night with somewhat legendary status. When we returned to Redd the next night for an early dinner before leaving town (yes, I know – we’re nuts!), several of the staff members came to our table so they could say hello to “the girl who ate three desserts for dinner.”
Having dessert for dinner is a fun and guilty pleasure that I think everyone should try at least once. Take it from me, I do it all the time!