Savory Desserts Send Palates on a Tasty Adventure

LAS VEGAS ( TheStreet) -- Throughout the history of the modern meal, savory flavors have traditionally belonged to appetizers and entrees while the sweet tastes of dessert serve as the grand finale. That's changed. In a city that loves to bend the rules, Las Vegas restaurants are serving savory desserts that send culinary palates on a tasty adventure.

Featuring out-of-the-ordinary ingredients such as roots, spices and vegetables, these desserts blend sweet and savory in perfect harmony, proving once again Las Vegas chefs are changing the way we finish our meals. TravelsinTaste sought out some of the most notable Las Vegas chefs to bring their savory creations to you, along with some insight into their creations.

Care for some seasoning with your chocolate? The Salt & Pepper Chocolate Cake served at Andre's Restaurant & Lounge at the Monte Carlo teases the taste buds with a mixture of sweet, spice and everything nice. Served in a delicate pool of salty caramel sauce, this dessert is topped with apricot mousse and marzipan. A dusting of red peppercorn flakes atop the cake delivers a spicy bite with each forkful. "It's dessert with a kick," says Andre Rochat, executive chef at Andre's and Alize. "The secret to savory desserts is the element of surprise, because no one imagines their cake to taste spicy or salty. It opens the palate to great new flavors, which is what makes this dessert so exciting to try."
Lemongrass' Iceberg, with an unusual black jelly, minty herb, sweet corn and coconut jelly, is a dessert you won't soon forget.

Aria's modern Thai restaurant, Lemongrass, brings simple shaved ice to a heavenly level with an unusual fusion of black jelly created from jackfruit and the stalks and leaves of Mesona chinensis, an herb in the mint family. Sweet corn and coconut jelly add a final explosion of flavor to the Iceberg you won't soon forget. "The Iceberg is a take on a popular dessert in Thailand and one of my personal favorites," says Lemongrass' executive chef, Krairit Krairavee, who was born and raised in Thailand. "I'm glad this native dish and unique dessert experience has been received so well by our guests."

For a mature twist on a childhood favorite, the Root Beer Float at Michael Mina Bellagio is comfort food -- but with a kick. Forget about the traditional vanilla ice cream; this root beer float is complemented by a hardy scoop of sassafras ice cream made from the roots of a sassafras tree. Add in two chocolate chip pecan cookies for a unique and satisfying after-dinner treat. Cheers!

An apple a day might keep the doctor away, but there's an apple dessert at Charlie Palmer's Aureole in Mandalay Bay that will have you coming back for more: The Streusel Baked Lady Gala Apple, a delicious salted caramel bombe served with green cardamom ice cream. Known for its strong herbal and citrusy flavors and aromas, green cardamom adds a delightful tang to this domed dessert and proves it is no ordinary cake.

Chinese spice at a steakhouse? No way, you say? Yum, we say. the At MGM Grand, Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio's Craftsteak's Almond Brown Butter Cake is served with quince that has been poached with star anise, a popular Chinese spice with a slight licorice flavor. Made with roasted autumn royal grapes, this moist cake is accompanied with scoops of fig and vanilla bean ice cream and topped with herbal cardamom.

Fusing Italian gelato and the traditional Chinese dessert of warm red bean soup, Rice & Company at the Luxor shakes things up with its flavorful Red Bean Gelato. The garnish of fresh mint and mixed berries gives this dish a refreshing twist, taking guests on a tasty and surprising journey. "The Red Bean Gelato was inspired by popular desserts from two different continents," says Danny Chen, executive chef at Rice & Company. "We love experimenting with different flavors to create exciting menu items for our guests."

So couple your sweet genius with your savory instincts and try a unique approach to the end of your meal, the savory dessert. You won't be disappointed.

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