Bread pudding at Bella Luna
Bread pudding at Bella Luna

Bread Pudding at Bella Luna

I’ll tell you my very favorite dessert in all of Cincinnati first. The bread pudding at Bella Luna in Columbia Tusculum is to die for. It’s repeatedly voted one of the best desserts at Taste of Cincinnati. My favorite thing about the bread pudding is that they have seasonal flavors and a trio so you can try three kinds all at once! (Who needs dinner?!) My favorite is the chocolate chip – so if they have that – GET IT!

Dessert at Melting Pot
Dessert at Melting Pot

Chocolate Fondue at Melting Pot

How can you go wrong with a plate of cocoa-covered marshmallows that you get to dip in chocolate? The best thing about Melting Pot is that you can go just for dessert! WAHOO!

Tres leches cake at Chuy's
Tres leches cake at Chuy's

Tres Leches Cake at Chuy's

Here’s the other thing about dessert – I like it to be something I would not make for myself. At Chuy’s I found Tres Leches Cake – it’s a Mexican delight. Tres Leches means three milk (in case you took French in high school). This cake is TO DIE FOR!!! It’s so light and fluffy, then it soaks in the three milks. The cool thing is that the cake never disintegrates in the milk. It’s so amazing – I literally eat only half my meal just so I can have the dessert! OR – I eat all my meal and then take the cake home. Okay...maybe I take two pieces home. We do birthday treats at work, and I bought an entire pan of Tres Leches Cake for my birthday buddy. It was worth it. (Just talking about it is really making me hungry!)

Cheesecake at Emanu
Cheesecake at Emanu

Cheesecake at Emanu

Now for something with a more ethnic flair – and yet – a very American dessert. Emanu is a fantastic Ethiopian restaurant in Pleasant Ridge. I’m sure the first thing you think of when you hear Ethiopian food is, "that must be the best place to get cheesecake, right?" I used to live down the street from Emanu and was one of the first to try it. I love Sammy and his whole family that run the joint. They asked me if I wanted their special cheesecake for dessert. Um, yeah! It’s a mascarpone cheesecake with honey crust. It’s a very cute story: they used to get the dessert from someone in town but then she decided to show them how to make it for themselves. Thank goodness because now I know I can always get it. Just a tip though: Be sure to let them know when you order dinner that you want the cheesecake – they run out quickly!

Apple Cider Bellini Sorbet at Symphony Hotel
Apple Cider Bellini Sorbet at Symphony Hotel

Choice of Dessert at Symphony Hotel and Restaurant

Last up is a mix of desserts that you can get at the unique Symphony Hotel. It’s a hotel and restaurant that has a very small set menu, and you choose from one to two items for each course. It’s a beautiful old building that’s been a lot of different things (including a brothel). If you sit in the room with the bar when the weather is nice, you can breathe in fresh air through the open doors while you taste the delightful dishes. In between courses, they provide a little bowl of Apple Cider Bellini Sorbet. This stuff is GOLD! Seriously, I could eat a ginormous bowl of it. It’s so amazing, so be prepared for unexpected amazingness in a palate cleanser.

Lemon blueberry crème brulee at Symphony Hotel
Lemon blueberry crème brulee at Symphony Hotel

They restaurant also has excellent dessert, like lemon blueberry crème brulee and double chocolate croissant bread pudding (yeah – bread pudding again!). Be sure to ask the staff for a tour and the history of the art around the property. It’s a great place to enjoy dinner before a show at Music Hall or if you have friends in from out of town – especially since it’s just a block from Washington Park!