and peanut butter mousse, Key lime pie
and cheesecake continue to stream out
of the kitchen in record numbers at all
nine Seasons 52 restaurants.
Today, desserts in shot glasses are
showing up on the menus at diners,
roadhouses, fine-dining establishments, hotel restaurants, neighborhood
eateries, bakeries and even some chain
restaurants. Here is a sampling of some
of the restaurants in the Northeast that
serve them up.
10 Main St., East Hampton, N. Y.
At the turn of the century, East Hampton was home to a boarding house that
was declared a “rowdy hall” by locals
who were put off by the revelry that
lasted into the wee hours of the morning. Today, Rowdy Hall is a traditional
English pub. Bartenders behind the
copper-topped bar pull pints of Bass and
Guinness and servers deliver piping hot
orders of fish and chips with a side of
malt vinegar. Everything on the menu,
from the barbecue St. Louis ribs to the
salmon and striped bass, is oversized.
When it comes to dessert, enormous
chocolate brownie sundaes and heaping bowls of bread pudding are still on
the menu, but they have fallen out of
favor. Their replacements: mini parfaits
served in shot glasses. Pastry chef Molly
Harding introduced the bite-sized confections earlier this year to encourage
diners too full for a traditional dessert
to order a bite-sized portion of their
favorite flavors. It took a few months
to perfect the recipes for nine miniature desserts, including peanut butter
mousse, orange creamsicle and lemon
meringue. A shot of red velvet cake with
cream cheese frosting is the most popular item on the minis menu.
The desserts have been on the menu
just long enough for Harding to realize
that they are a lot like potato chips: It’s
almost impossible to eat just one.
378 Highland Ave., Somerville, Mass.
Kickass Cupcakes knows there is no such
want to sample a
spoonful of several
small desserts. Plus,
doesn’t a brownie
thing as a one-size-fits-all cupcake. The
Davis Square bakery customizes each
confection: You pick the cake, icing flavors and toppings, and owner Sara Ross
puts together a custom cupcake. But
Ross noticed that a lot of customers were
asking for extra icing, so she decided to
offer icing shots as a solution. The small
cups contain about the same amount of
buttercream icing that is used to frost
a standard cupcake and are available in
six flavors, including chocolate, vanilla,
lemon and lime.
Since icing shots were added to the
menu in 2007, the bakery has sold an
average of six shots per day—even more
on Friday and Saturday nights when
students from nearby colleges come to
Kickass Cupcakes for a sugar rush before
heading out for a night on the town. Just
as many customers order a $1 icing shot
to complement their cupcakes as order
a shot without a cupcake, although Ross
points out that it’s mostly pint-sized customers who order both.
1515 Rhode Island Ave., Washington,
D. C.; 202-742-0015; 15ria.com
It’s a scene that plays out at restaurants
all over the country: Night after night,
diners order one dessert with several
forks for the entire table to share. It was
the dessert-sharing trend that led 15 ria
to capitalize on the skyrocketing popularity of desserts in shot glasses. The restaurant, in the Doubletree Washington
hotel, is known for contemporary American fare and for its new executive chef,
Janis McLean, who favors classic ingredients and simple preparation of dishes
such as seared scallops, pan-seared crab
cakes and braised lamb shanks.
Now the eatery is also known for its
flight of desserts—crème brûlée, apple
crisp and molten chocolate cake served
in shot glasses—for $6. The idea to offer
bite-sized portions of these three desserts stemmed from the desire to combine three favorites into a single order.
At just two to three bites each, the entire
flight of desserts is still smaller than a
standard dessert at most restaurants but
gives diners a chance to indulge their
sweet tooth without guilt.