I frequently visit Extraordinary Desserts with my friends because besides of sharing our weekly girl talk we crave a dessert once in a while, and for a sweet tooth this place is perfection.
Extraordinary Desserts began in 1988 with a 10 seat restaurant and a dessert and coffee menu in the Balboa Park Neighborhood. It immediately became a local favorite thanks to amazing chef Karen Krasne, who was named one of the top 10 pastry chefs in USA by Forbes magazine.
Its second establishment opened in 2004. It’s a 7,000 square feet restaurant with a seating capacity for 175. Besides the change in size of the restaurant, the menu got an upgrade with a list of savory foods to choose from; as well as beer, wine, and champagne. The cakes and desserts welcoming you into the restaurant are the main décor and attraction.
The menu is quite ordinary but has variety. It offers bar snacks, bruschetta, grilled cheese sandwiches, panini, salads, dips and spreads and a selection of artisan cheeses. On one of our mother-daughter dinner nights, mom and I started our night with a Homemade Brie Torte bruschetta with poblano pepper jam. It was good. The jam gave it the perfect touch of sweetness and spice. We also had the Funghi Misti bruschetta, an italian mushroom mix with extra virgin olive oil and herbs, good ingredients though it lacked seasoning.
The charcuterie platter is one of my favorite items on the menu. It’s a shareable platter for 2, served with 6 month aged salt and pepper salami, serrano ham, a few slices of dry salami with herbs de provence, pickles, caramelized onions and whole grain dijon mustard. It’s perfect with a glass of wine.
Our next plate was the Cobb Salad. It’s a large bowl of salad served for two. It’s not the ordinary Cobb. This is my favorite salad on the menu because of its ingredients. It’s made with organic greens, organic turkey, serrano ham, slices of avocado, hearts of palm, artichoke hearts, artisanal blue cheese pieces and vinaigrette. The dressing comes on the side but it’s never enough, if you’re lucky and get a good server you won’t run out of it.
If you’re a panini lover the Goat Cheese panini with portobello mushrooms, pesto genovese, and avocado in a Bread and Cie bread is highly recommendable. And the Smoked Mozzarella grilled cheese sandwich with a layer of yellow pepper pecan pesto is also worth trying. The downside to this dessert paradise could be the service.
On this particular occasion we waited 20 minutes to get our bill but on my latest visit I enjoyed of great service. It depends on the server, I guess.
Recently, I visited the restaurant with a couple of friends and I had the pleasure of enjoying the Wednesday-only Cheese Bar. Its variety of cheeses is perfectly selected and you have the option for wine pairing. The Cheese Bar menu changes weekly. On this particular occasion the eight selections of cheeses presented were outstanding.
The Double Cream Brie from France was creamy and soft as it could be. The Coconut Gouda, the Pecorino, and the Goat Fleur Vert cheese were worth double servings. These are accompanied by dried fruits, berries, dried nuts, tapenade, marmalade, and of course, Bread and Cie bread. If you're a cheese lover, visiting Extraordinary Desserts on a Wednesday must be on your to-do list.
At this restaurant you can’t skip dessert. It would be like going to a steakhouse and not ordering a steak. Whole cakes, cupcakes, cookies, scones, pies, brownies, you name it; all presented with that special touch of rose petals and gold dust.
One of their most popular cakes is the Chocolate Macadamia Torte. It’s a chocolate cake with dark chocolate ganache and rum flavored custard covered in roasted macadamia nuts. And for all the chocolate lovers out there, the Viking is a chocolate cake with chocolate créme brulée. A chocolate fix that will last for days. The Desserts are simply irresistible and their beautiful presentation makes you not want to eat them, but after the first bite, you forget about the beauty and enjoy the flavors. Ordinary food but extraordinary desserts.
Recommended: All desserts, Kiwi Lemonade, Scones, Chocolate Pavlova, Cheese Bar, Tea and Coffee, Cobb Salad, Homemade Brie Torta Bruschetta, Sunday's self-serve European breakfast from 11a.m.-2p.m.
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