Best Of 2011

Best Desserts: Brasserie by Niche

The dessert menu at Gerard Craft's Central West End restaurant is deceptively simple -- and always elegant. Pastry chef Summer Wright of course serves the sweet fare that is expected from a casual French restaurant, namely profiteroles and crème brûlée, but she does so with little touches that make them memorable and distinctly her own, like honey and lavender in that crème brûlée. Wright also makes sure to include seasonal fare; this summer was a festival of peaches, with roasted peaches paired with a financier cake (and verbena ice cream), and a special dessert, produced as part of local bakery Companion's annual "CollaBREADtive" program, of a roasted peach-almond galette. For those who prefer that their meal conclude on a more subtle note, Wright's floating island, a classic meringue-based dessert, is as light and sweet as the dream of a first kiss.

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