Once it became apparent that every teen girl and her mother had already purchased tickets to all seven of the evening's showings, we needed to come up with a plan B. It was, after all, the first date night we had had since August (Oh I'm sorry, did I mention that already?) and there was no way I was going home early, but we had already eaten dinner with the kids. So we did the next logical thing - we decided to go out for dessert.
No really, where?
Central Mass is not exactly a mecca of culinary delights but luckily we live in the Worcester area. If you're eating in Worcester you're probably on Shrewsbury Street and that is where we found ourselves on Saturday night at around 8pm after giving up on seeing sparkly vampires on the big screen, frantically using my iPhone to Google "Dessert + Shrewsbury Street + Worcester + wine".
Don't judge. This was our night without kids and Mama wanted cake and wine. If that's wrong then... No, it could not be less than not wrong. Moving on.
Score one for Google.
Walk through the (unfortunately closed due to the time of night) bakery and in the back is the dessert bar/lounge. Dark gray and red walls with very little artwork give the room an intimate, if not an "Eh, forgettable" feel. On the left is the bar/open kitchen where the drinks are poured and the desserts are made to order in full view of the patrons.
We sat at the bar because every table was taken. I took that as a good sign.
There's a prix fixe dessert menu and below the descriptions are both a wine and a beer pairing. I quickly decided on the French doughnuts filled with chocolate with a caramel dipping sauce with the Prosecco pairing while my husband decided on bread pudding with a Sauternes. Unfortunately, the bartender was either new or having an off night. He didn't know if they had the Sauternes and didn't really seem to know what it was. It took him awhile to take our order, I'm pretty sure there were desserts that weren't on the menu he should have told us about and wasn't very attentive despite the fact that there were only six other people at the bar. He was friendly enough, but friendly doesn't get me my doughnuts quicker.
When our desserts arrived I was underwhelmed by the presentation and a little disconcerted that the caramel sauce came in the very same ramekin I have in my kitchen cabinet, but I wasn't there to look at it so I quickly dove in. The doughnuts, as I expected, were a little slice of heaven... if heaven was deep fried with a dark chocolate middle and covered with sugar. Which I'd like to believe it is. The caramel sauce was a bit too subtle in flavor to stand up to the friend pastry but when I tasted it alone there was a feint hint of hazelnut. I had to stop myself from licking the ramekin.
I thought the bread pudding was quite good, again subtle in flavor with a drizzle of basic caramel sauce (no Nutella taste that I could tell. Darn.) and a large pillow of whipped cream. My husband was happy enough but he likes his flavors stronger so I shared some of my doughnuts with him. That is true love, people.
As for the wine pairings, Prosecco goes pretty nicely with doughnuts. Who knew? And my husband never got his Sauternes but the bartender found him an orange Muscat that was tasty and went well with the bread pudding.
Our night was topped off with two gratis almond cookies that were crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside and two bites of perfection and I'm rethinking my visions of heaven. It might be crunchy and chewy and almond-y.
So, to recap:
Sweet - 305 Shrewsbury St., Worcester, MA
Family Friendly: Sorry, kids. This is a dessert bar. Leave the little ones at home and enjoy the lounge on your date night, but make sure to bring them back during the daytime business hours (Tues - Sat, 10am - 6pm) for one of Sweet's ten varieties of gourmet cupcakes. Dessert Bar - N/A, Pastry shop - 9.
Ambiance: Eh, it didn't wow me. - 6
Price: Drinks were reasonable, and by reasonable I mean they're as expensive as any other more upscale establishment you'll find these days so plan on spending some coin on a drink. The Prosecco pour was on the small side but I'll chalk that up to the confused bartender. Next time I'll try one of their dessert themed cocktails. The prix fixe dessert menu for the evening was $9 per dessert - perhaps a bit expensive for dessert but this ain't your mom's apple pie you're partaking of. My plate was big enough for sharing, my husband's plate was reasonably sized for one dessert lover. There was also a savory appetizer menu but I can't for the life of me remember what the prices were. I blame the sugar. - 7.5
Service: Poor. I'll chalk it up to an off night, maybe a fill-in bartender, but it left a black mark on our evening. I want to give them a higher mark for service because the other waiter on duty seemed on the ball and very attentive but, unfortunately, he wasn't working the bar - 4
Food: Did I mention heaven was made of chocolate filled friend doughnuts, caramel sauce and almond cookies? - 9 (But I might be biased. Dessert is my favorite meal and I would sell my children for a good pastry.)
I could continue to compare the desserts to the Almighty, a choir of angels and gates that are pearly or you can check out Sweet on Shrewsbury St. in Worcester for yourself. Oh yes, please do. And if they're on the menu, I recommend the doughnuts.