Sometimes really mediocre restaurants make one inspired dish.
Last year I went to an off service dinner at Maggiano's Little Italy, and for the most part it was as advertised. Heaping portions of middling italian fare in a cleverly constructed, almost Disnefied version of "Little Italy." You Know, red checkerboard tablecloths, (wink/wink. ) Black and white photo's of smiling italian dock workers, a boistrous and manic waspish, bartender. A maitre D' with cliche aging southern italian looks.
The thing was, they served this one dessert, an apple crostini with caramel sauce and vanilla bean ice cream that was so damn satisfying that the Ponzu fam will order it take-out to this day.
a 1/4 inch thick buttery flakey crust springled with partially carmelized sugar, sweet apples with preserved structural integrity, and a sweet lemoney gravy. A caramel sauce that was hot, and slightly burnt tasting in a smokey sort of way. And a big melting scoop of vanilla bean.
I'm not imploring anyone to support this particular restaurant. But the dessert is deliciousness personified. So if you try it you migtht like it..... In spight of yourself