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Chow 3121 Granville St., 604-608-2469. A slice of gently sweet, nutty Comté is sandwiched between chef Jean-Christophe Poirier’s impossibly light, buttery brioche—toasted and served with mildly tart apple relish and a drizzle of pistachio oil, it’s the perfect grilled-cheese sandwich. Gives any cheese plate a run for its money.
Cibo 900 Seymour St., Downtown, 604-602-9570. Chef Neil Taylor brought the much-lauded Chocolate Nemesis with him from London’s River Café. And what a dessert it is. A cross between a mousse and a ganache, it’s a flourless “cake” that plumbs the depths of chocolate richness—so insanely decadent that you’ll be left breathless.
CinCin 1154 Robson St., Downtown, 604-688-7338. Chef Thierry Busset takes tiramisu, so often a throwaway dessert, and turns it into a spectacular taste experience. House-made ladyfingers soaked in Kahlúa and espresso are napped in a velvety mascarpone blanket and accompanied by a quenelle of caramel ice cream. Time it right, and you can indulge in an intense dish of organic Okanagan cherries, roasted in cold-pressed olive oil and bumped up with a splash of kirsch, raspberry coulis, and Tahitian vanilla ice cream.
Fuel 1944 W. Fourth Ave., Kitsilano, 604-288-7905. Fromage frais cheesecake is a decadent delight, its gentle tartness complemented by a delicate sprinkling of fennel pollen and the nutty, caramel flavour of brown butter. Chef Rob Belcham’s summer incarnation of this dessert is paired with peach slices, lightly torched to enhance their natural sugars.
Parkside / La Buca 1906 Haro St., Downtown, 604-683-6912. Panna cotta should be firm enough to hold its shape yet yield to smooth creaminess. Chef Andrey Durbach’s version strikes a perfect balance. Exquisite in its simplicity, it’s served with seasonal toppings such as rhubarb and blueberries.