Hi everyone - I am a dessert fanatic dating a dessert fanatic, and we are trying to compile a definitive list of outstanding dessert places in downtown DC. I have done a lot of reading of old threads (I think I scanned or read almost every thread going back into 2011 in doing my DC restaurants research), and my intel on desserts came back without many clear top choices. This thread had a good amount of information compared to most, but was still lacking for my purposes: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/775016
We are looking for places that are willing to serve JUST DESSERT, either post dinner, throughout the day, etc. Bakeries, pastry shops, and chocolate boutiques are great, and I would LOVE to hear about your favorite places, why you recommend them (even down to the "must order" items at those places), but what I am envisioning is ideally more along the lines of either (A) a Coco Sala (which is the one big item currently on my list) - a dessert-centric destination where there is a dessert menu that one can dine from without needing to order a savory meal, or (B) Something akin to the way many high level restaurants in NYC offer dessert menu tastings in a bar or salon area of the restaurant and allow people to come in without a reservation to order just from the dessert menu. I imagine that between all of the elite restaurants in DC that I have read so much about on these boards, there must be some that have particularly renowned pastry/dessert chefs, and I am hoping that some of those same places offer "dessert only" dining that I could take advantage of. I will be eating at many fine restaurants in DC (I will have another thread asking for advice on a few tough choices on my dining itinerary), but if the desserts at certain places are not quite as good as the main dining menu, we would very much enjoy to know of a superior place to get dessert and head there.
In the end, we are hoping this list will: (1) Give us a good list of places to go (mostly after or instead of dinner) for great desserts, and (2) Give us a sense for which DC restaurants offer particularly exceptional desserts and which ones are just good or not as good, and (3) Give us a list of a few outstanding individual dishes )if such as thing is possible with rotating menus and such). This is a pretty ambitious undertaking, so each individual recommendation will be valuable!
And I will add one special request: I will be celebrating my girlfriend's birthday in a few weeks, and her absolute favorite dessert flavors are RASPBERRY AND CHOCOLATE. If anyone knows of a particularly divine dessert somewhere in the city that pairs these two flavors, I would tremendously appreciate hearing about it! She also loves the combination of chocolate and caramel and great ice cream/gelato, but those are decidedly second to raspberry and chocolate.
Thank you in advance to everyone who contributes! I'm looking forward to posting my own thoughts on the various desserts I eat once I start dining in DC this coming weekend!