After dining multiple courses at Chandler’s Crabhouse, and then stopping by Black Bottle in Belltown for an appetizer, we were now ready for dessert!
A couple of years ago when my dear friend--and amazing chef-to-the-stars-- Mary Beth Schulte, moved up here from La Jolla, CA, to help me open The Beach House, and later Pacific Grill, we found ourselves up in Seattle trying out the “small-plates” concept that has become so popular. I had just returned from a trip investigating tapas in Barcelona & Mallorca, Spain, and I had heard about this tapas restaurant called TANGO, on the cusp of downtown and Capitol Hill. We happened to go on a Monday night when they had half-priced wine so we immediately upgraded to a bottle of Andrew Will.
With accolades such as: Citysearch, Editorial Winner for Best Desserts in Seattle and …"If you miss the chocolate Diablo cake…you have missed the single best dessert in this city...”— Seattle Metropolitan Magazine…and featured on the Food Network television show, Sugar Rush!
The tapas were good but the dessert was GREAT--one of the best we had ever had—described thusly:
El Diablo $10
Bittersweet cube of sinfully rich dark
chocolate graced with cayenne, spicy
almonds, cocoa nibs and burnt meringue
finished with a tequila caramel sauce
So I told Aaron that even though we were stuffed to the gills—we just had to go try this dessert (again) and see if it held up to my memory of it. And boy did it ever!
The dessert is amazing looking…a huge cube of chocolate—denser than mousse almost truffle-like...yet-- somehow even richer. I have no idea how they cut it into that shape. It was set atop Italian meringue that had been torched a golden brown like a campfire marshmallow.
Cocoa nibs were garnished on the plate in interesting patterns (cocoa nibs are tiny crushed nuggets of roasted cocoa beans, that have not yet been transformed into chocolate as we know it).
The caramel sauce has tequila in it (which seems superfluous as you cannot taste it), and hidden inside this impossible creation is a hint of cayenne, that begins to show itself as a slight tingling on the lips-- almost an erotic tingling that makes you want to indulge in another taste…and then another.
I pushed the plate towards Aaron and told him I couldn’t possibly eat another bite. He said he couldn’t either…but then the cayenne began its sensually hot tingle-- and Aaron was seduced into eating the last bite!
Tango Restaurant & Lounge
1100 Pike St. (at Boren)
Seattle, WA 98101