Best Desserts - 2006
Readers' Choice: The Cheesecake Factory
It's a good thing Niche serves its desserts at the end of the meal. Sure, it's customary to do it this way, but if pastry chef Mathew Rice's sultry sweetness came out first, no part of the feast following would be able top the dessert course ? not even at Niche. The dessert list here, dubbed "Sweet Dreams," is brief and frequently changes to highlight seasonal fruits and offer lighter options when the weather warrants. The sorbets, all made in-house, are tongue-ticklingly tart and provide a perfect complement to selections like Rice's creme brul?e panna cotta (a firmer version of the French standby). The house-made ice creams also delight, especially when served with, say, the vanilla peach buckle, a kind of peach cobbler made with the freshest of peaches (of course). Yup, it's a good thing Niche serves its desserts at the end of the meal but if you'd like to pass off a couple of these treats as your dinner, we won't tell. Niche makes doing that simple with Veruca at Niche, a dessert-and-wine service from 11 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights.