It's a taste of chocolate, a touch of whipped crème or a decadent drizzle of caramel that stirs your senses into a frenzy. Dessert - it can be an opulent indulgence that can soothe after a busy day, cap off a perfect meal or even offer a hint of seduction. Let go, unwind and treat yourself to a sumptuous sample of some of Ottawa's most adored after-dinner delicacies, each with their own enticing escape to offer.
Bread fresh out of the oven - it's a smell of comfort, An east-end gem that's been serving up delicious baked goods and an array of tempting desserts for 28 years, everything from fresh loaves to decadent desserts like triple-chocolate mousse cake and mille feuille fill the shelves of the Orléans Bakery at 2122 St. Joseph Blvd. Step inside this Orléans institution for an experience that will delight both the sense - like the aroma of bread fresh out of the oven that greets you at the door - and the pocketbook. The bakery's quick and knowledgeable staff will help any eager customer find which baked-to-perfection pastry or melt-in-your-mouth dessert is right to satisfy their sweet tooth.
2122 St. Joseph Blvd.
613-837-2741 or 613-837-2525
Prices range from $1.10 to $30 Favourite Restaurant:
Pay a visit to Thyme & Again, a trendy Westboro Village hot spot with a cheery, bustling, almost "big kitchen" atmosphere that is always inviting. Patrons can soak up the bright sunshine and chatter of the well-fed crowd in the main eatery area on 1255 Wellington St. West, enjoy the sidewalk patio or head upstairs to take in the well-kept, heritage-home-type atmosphere as they enjoy their dessert selections. (Not be to missed are the sumptuous white chocolate cranberry velvet tart and hazelnut mousse cake.) Boasting a huge collection of tarts, squares, cakes and pies - including tasty seasonal, vegan and gluten-free choices - the eatery also offers a well-known creative catering and event planning service. And now Thyme & Again fans can even enjoy their favourite dessert delights in another location - the recently-opened Thyme & Again Encore in the Irving Greenberg Theatre Centre just down the street.
Thyme & Again
1255 Wellington St. West
Prices from $2.15 to $69 Favourite Hideaway:
Open until 12:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, Oh So Good Dessert and Coffee House is perfect to satisfy late-night sweet-tooth cravings, and provides a tasty weekend alternative tucked into the heart of the ByWard Market. Located between a travel agent's office, a selection of downtown's favourite drinking establishments and a strip club at 25 York St., Oh So Good offers something decidedly out of the ordinary even from first glance. The restaurant's front section has a quick counter service and a perfect view for people-watching, while the back room is full service on Friday and Saturday evenings after 7 p.m. Satiate your tastebuds with their miniature cakes, a slice of one of their premium cheesecakes, such as the delightful pumpkin brandy, or sample their selection of layered cakes.
Oh So Good Dessert and Coffee House
25 York St.
Prices range from $5.69 to $7.25 taxes included Favourite Specialty:
For eight years the Nepean-based Cake Shop at 250 Greenbank Rd. has been making wondrous creations of imagination for birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions. Catering to the customer's most desired dessert vice, prices range depending on what kind of custom designed and created cake or other confection will satiate your craving - from a festively-decorated Senators cupcake to a gourmet shortbread cookie or their top-of-the-line designer cakes. And dessert-lovers with any kind of nut allergy can rejoice - the Cake Shop is the only bakery or eating establishment in Ottawa to be 100 per cent nut-free, in addition to offering some sugar-free and flourless cakes.
The Cake Shop
250 Greenbank Rd., Nepean
Prices range from $3 to $89.99 and up Favourite Hotel:
Elegance, sophistication and the penultimate expression of decadence - sampling the dessert menu is no mere stop-and-grab at Perspectives Restaurant in the Brookstreet Hotel at 525 Legget Dr. Whether you're enjoying a mid-week meal or weekend escape to the west end, indulge in some of the immaculately-presented desserts that promise to tempt your sweet tooth, with a breathtaking view of the Marshes Golf Club and Kanata's more rustic side as the perfect cherry on this restaurant's sundae. Dessert creations by executive chef Michael Blackie include unique surprises like regional hard and soft cheeses served with toasted walnut, pear and dried apricot, or the fruit alignment of raspberry tiramisu, jackfruit and ginger gelato chocolate hazelnut Florentine.
Perspectives at the Brookstreet Hotel
525 Legget Drive, Kanata
Prices range from $8 to $15 - Written by Laura Cummings - Photography by Darren Brown