This is a Chocolate Melt Cake. Drizzled with chocolate syrup. Covered in house made Almond Ice Cream. Topped with slice almonds. Accompanied by a stick of dark and white chocolate.
And this is the only picture I have of it.
This luscious, moist cake comes to you straight from Ann Arbor's La Dolce Vita - the dessert and wine bar situated in between upscale American restaurant The Chop House and Italian restaurant Gratzi - all three of which are owned by the same group, and all three of which have gluten free menus and celiac knowledgeable staff.
As is imperative when you're talking safe gluten free fare, all of La Dolce Vita's gourmet desserts are made on site. Not only was the pastry chef on hand, not only can deserts be tailored to your gluten free needs (without that pesky wafer so many pastry chefs love to gluten up otherwise safe mouses and puddings with), but when you have a knowledge person in the kitchen, you can put your money on a safe, cross contamination free dining experience.
Even though we arrived near 10pm on a week night, we were pleased to find the pastry chef was still there. She and our waitress pow-wowed on my gluten free needs, and were able to offer me several of the naturally gluten free confections on the menu, including approximately eight types of homemade sorbets and ice creams, a fruit and cheese plate, a sumptuous rice pudding with blood oranges, and, of course, the chocolate melt cake.
Obviously, we went with the cake.
This thick, deeply chocolate confection would've been enough on it's own, but pared with almond ice cream? I'm amazed I managed even one picture before we lapped it up.
If you didn't know already, I love anything almond, anything dark chocolate, and any time I can safely dine out without worrying about being glutened. But a dessert bar in the Midwest that actually bats a 3 out of 3? Well I'd say that place pretty much offers a perfect dining experience. My boyfriend heartily agrees, giving La Dolce Vita's Chocolate Melt Cake a 9.9 out of 10, explaining the dessert only missed the mark because he could've done with another serving (or six) of it.
I do love to make my boyfriend happy, so I'll just have to placate him and make sure we spend an evening at La Dolce Vita next time I'm in town. And if my arm gets twisted into tasting that tempting blood orange rice pudding? Well, that's just something me and my taste buds will have to deal with.