Best Desserts - 2005
Readers' Choice: The Cheesecake Factory
Like a smash Broadway show whose popularity necessitates an extended run, the superlative desserts at Atlas Restaurant deserve their own spotlight. And because someone out there loves us (we suspect it's husband-and-wife co-owners Michael Roberts and Jean Donnelly), Atlas stays open late on Friday and Saturday nights, serving heavenly confections until the witching hour. If these desserts had their own White Way marquee, it might read: "Lemon pudding cake with warm blueberry sauce! Homemade sorbet trio -- passion fruit, cherry and pear! "We want to eat ourselves into a sugar coma,' raves the RFT!" It takes tremendous discipline to refrain from filling up on Atlas' astounding seasonal starters and main courses, but the reward couldn't be sweeter. Warm peach cobbler with crème anglaise is delightful with an after-dinner coffee; the marjolaine -- almond and hazelnut meringue layered with crème fraîche and dark chocolate -- tastes extra-fabulous with a snifter of black sambuca. Then there's the buttermilk panna cotta, the profiteroles, the affogato (homemade vanilla-bean ice cream doused in espresso). Bravo, Atlas -- we'd applaud, but we don't want to put down our spoons.