The Sweet Spots: Sweets for Your Sweet on Valentine’s Day

Whether you’re in the honeymoon phase of a new relationship, losing track of the years spent with the love of your life, or feeling the sting of unrequited love this weekend, what better way to express how you feel than with something sweet? (Chocolate, mousse-filled, deep-fried, sugar-dusted, sprinkled with rose petals and paired with booze doesn’t hurt, either.) Here are 10 top spots to order sweets for your sweet on Valentine’s Day.

Sinfully Sweet at L’Atelier De Joël Robuchon, Las Vegas, Nevada
What happens on Valentine’s Day in Vegas stays in Vegas, right? Wherever the night takes you in Sin City this Valentine’s Day weekend, you can at least bet on a memorable dessert at the sleek, French-leaning L’Atelier De Joël Robuchon at MGM Grand. La Rouge Cerise stars its namesake red cherry in a compote with vanilla and dark chocolate cream while La Framboise comprises a white chocolate sphere filled with yuzu ice cream that’s revealed when cascaded with warm raspberry chocolate sauce at the table. Make a reservation at L’Atelier De Joël Robuchon.

Sweets for Your Sweet

Wine-Friendly Sweets at Five Fifty-Five, Portland, Maine
As part of its four-course Valentine’s Day menu, upscale American eatery Five Fifty-Five is tempting diners with three sweet conclusions from pastry chef Yazmin Saraya. Delicate Wine, Chocolate & Roses combines wine and berries pate de fruit, passion fruit truffles, and rose petal macaroon, lavender-laced cheesecake gets sweet tang from Meyer lemon and lightness from meringue, and a mouth-coating flourless chocolate brownie gets sweetness from white chocolate sorbet and sticky dulce de leche. Wine director/co-proprietor Michelle Corry’s carefully selected wine pairings will make dessert taste even sweeter (and your spoken love poems sound all the more impressive). Make a reservation at Five Fifty-Five.

Sweets for Your Sweet

Decisions, decisions! at 312 Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
For lovers who can’t commit (at least on a dessert choice), 312 Chicago chef Luca Corazzina is offering three sweet meal enders this Valentine’s Day. Torta di Cioccolato comprises rich flourless chocolate cake with pistachio cream atop a smear of wild berry sauce; Bombolini, or Italian fried doughnuts, sit atop white chocolate mousse with Champagne; and Panna Cotta de Lamponi pairs light vanilla custard with raspberries and kiwi salad. Don’t worry; dessert sharing is encouraged (though it may not resolve monogamy issues). Make a reservation at 312 Chicago.

Sweets for Your Sweet

Red Velvet Cake for Two at The Gage, Chicago, Illinois
The Gage pastry chef Kym DeLost aims to melt the hearts of even staunch non-dessert-sharers with her amorous Red Velvet Cake for Two. Rich with the color and flavor of cocoa, this layered cake is filled with cheesecake frosting and strawberry-wine jelly and then topped with crunchy meringue kisses and raspberries and strawberries glazed with sparkling red Brachetto wine and finished with candied rose petals that pop with desire on the crisp white plate. Make a reservation at The Gage.

Sweets for Your Sweet

Cupid’s (Semolina Cake) Arrow at Hinoki & the Bird, Los Angeles, California
According to Persian culture, if you bake a semolina cake for someone, the person who eats it will fall in love with you. So if you’re sensing your love might be unrequited, take your date to travel-inspired Hinoki & the Bird for the Semolina Almond Cake. This airy, not-too-sweet cake is infused with ground almonds and fragrant lemon zest and plated with fresh berries, crème fraîche, and honeycomb. In other words, Cupid’s arrow in dessert form. Book a table at Hinoki & the Bird.

Sweets for your sweet

Bond-themed Valentine’s at Edge Restaurant & Bar, Denver, Colorado
As part of the Four Seasons’ James Bond-themed Valentine’s Day, posh steakhouse Edge will be offering three desserts worthy of 007’s charms all weekend starting February 12. Pastry chef Ryan Schmidt’s romantic creations include Milk Chocolate Passion with hazelnut, passion fruit, and raspberry sorbet; Champagne and Strawberries with white chocolate, strawberry salsa, and mint; and a show-stopping interactive dessert for two. In the center of a plate adorned with chocolate strawberries and brownie bites rests a chocolate sphere, which diners will crack open with a small hammer to reveal a vanilla ice cream and raspberry sorbet center. We recommend pairing with a vodka martini: shaken, not stirred, naturally. Make a reservation at Edge Restaurant & Bar.

Sweets for your sweet

Chocolate Pot de Crème at Cypress Tavern, Miami, Florida
When words can’t express your love, say it with chocolate. At Michael Schwartz’s retro Miami eatery, Chocolate Pot de Crème will do the talking for you. Rich dark chocolate custard is dolloped with velvety whipped cream and paired with buttery toasted brioche for a sweet end to the three-course Valentine’s Day menu ($79 per person plus tax and gratuity, including a half-bottle of Champagne). Make a reservation at Cypress Tavern.

Sweets for your sweet

Mango Upside-Down Cake at Untitled at The Whitney, New York, New York
At the sleek, airy Untitled at the Whitney Museum of American Art from the team behind Gramercy Tavern, pastry chef Miro Uskokovic channels the understated sweetness of slow-burning romance with his delicate mango upside-down cake with pink peppercorn and rose. A vanilla- and rose-scented cake is baked with Champagne-mango jam and then plated alongside a quenelle of warmly spicy pink peppercorn-infused crème fraiche and finished with mango sauce, fresh cubes of Champagne, candied pistachios, and sugared rose petals. Make a reservation at Untitled at The Whitney.

Sweets for your sweet

Classic Decadence at Roka Akor, San Francisco, California
Nothing warms the heart like warm chocolate cake. At Japanese steakhouse Roka Akor, this classic cake is elevated with rich, deep Valrhona cocoa and served warm alongside nutty almond caramel and a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a romantic dessert that’s as timeless as Romeo & Juliet, though with an undoubtedly happier ending. Make a reservation at Roka Akor.

Swwets for your sweet

Chocolate and Citrus at Faith & Flower, Los Angeles, California
Playing on the sensuous nature of different textures (and including two types of chocolate, just to be safe), Faith & Flower’s pastry chef Josh Graves delivers a surefire aphrodisiac on a plate with his citrus with dark chocolate mousse, creamsicle namelaka, tangerine puree, and crispy chocolate mousse. The light yet rich dark chocolate mousse dissolves in the mouth, offset by dense milk chocolate cremeux and dehydrated chocolate mousse for crunch. The white chocolate creamsicle namelaka adds yet another sensuous texture (namelaka means “ultra creamy” in Japanese), while the tangerine puree wakes up the palate. Make a reservation at Faith & Flower. 

Sweets for your sweet

Admit it: Sweets are your favorite of all our #29ReasonstoLoveFebruary! Then tell us if you’re tucking into any of these sweets for your sweet on Valentine’s Day here or over on FacebookG+InstagramPinterest, or Twitter.

Maggie Hennessy is a freelance food + drink writer and chef based in Chicago. Follow her on Twitter @edible_words and read her other published works at maggiehennessy.com.

Photo credits: Colin Beckett (312 Chicago); Kira Williams (The Gage).