Tasty tiramisu dessert in glass, on wooden background

We first found it in 2006, in Reno, Nevada, right smack in the middle of town. My husband and I traveled there as part of a conference (he wasn’t my husband then), and when we found it, we made sure we went back two times in 3 days.We found it again in 2009 in Los Angeles, and just recently this summer in Charlotte, NC.

What am I talking about?

A dessert bar.

It’s a tempting concept, and once you’ve gone to one, you’ll find yourself craving another trip. A dessert bar isn’t a club, a dive bar, a craft cocktail joint, or a tapas spot. It’s not even a full restaurant–unless you count appetizers as a meal. A dessert bar doesn’t have ear splitting music (though it does have music) or people lining up outside behind a rope line in outfits they’ve stressed over for most of the week. A dessert bar is open late, but it also opens early. Lounge seating, group tables, high top seating, and a wide center bar are paramount at a well done dessert bar.

It’s the kind of joint you might go to for those in-between-times in life.

Maybe it’s too late for dinner, but not late enough to just drink. Maybe you need a little something more than an expensive cocktail. Maybe a member of your party doesn’t drink, and you want to include them in the fun. Maybe you just like chocolate and want to skip dinner altogether.

Enter the dessert bar, a savior for those all too common moments.
It’s the one thing this city is missing when it comes to food. We have fantastic bars these days, and plenty of restaurants that would rival any city in the US. We’re just as lively of a city as any, but we don’t have this. We don’t have a spot devoted to the sweetest part of any meal. We’ve been close before, so close, but it has never worked out.

In 2013, for example, I thought for a few months that we’d gotten there. It was all a mirage.

The dessert bar remains an elusive puzzle piece in our culinary landscape, the one thing I wish we’d have in our fair city, and the missing ruby in our tiara.

Maybe one day, she’ll arrive. Until then, I’m waiting. And as for Reno? That dessert bar is still open. In fact, it has two locations now.

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