Or just a memorable dessert
By Jim Walker
Sometimes, you want to go out for a great dinner, followed by a dessert that goes beyond the ordinary. While there are myriad options for sweets in the SCV, including ice cream and cookie shops, for the above-mentioned dinner and dessert, your choices are reduced a bit. Sure, most restaurants offer some desserts, but, here, we are talking about the kind of entrees and decadent sweets you’ll be fondly remembering for days. With those criteria, we bring you a few local establishments that won’t disappoint.
Wolf Creek Restaurant & Brewing Co. is in a unique position to not only offer an extensive selection of craft beers on tap, accompanying an innovative and wide-ranging menu, it also offers multiple decadent desserts, with the sweets menu changing daily. On the weekday of this writing, the “rotating” dessert items included Fruit Crisp à la Mode, Walnut Crunch Brownie, Chocolate Cream Pie, Tres Leches, and individual Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cakes.
Owner Laina McFerren said, “Meghan Launier has been our pastry chef since we opened, more than 26 years. She’s amazing. We do everything in-house, and have some staples, which are always available, such as the Chocolate Cake, Carrot Cake and some flavor of Cheesecake. Everything else rotates. We have eight choices on weekdays and 12 on weekends. Outside of the staples, Meghan has free rein, and she is always developing delicious variations.”
Wolf Creek, 27746 N. McBean Parkway, Valencia, CA 91354; (661) 263-9653, https://www.wolfcreekbrewingco.com/.
When you think of combining a great dinner and dessert, it’s quite likely that the Cheesecake Factory comes to mind. The menu items are delicious and varied – and, true to its name, CCF offers a large selection of tasty cheesecake types, including Fresh Strawberry, Oreo Dream Extreme, Caramel Apple, Cinnabon Cinnamon Swirl, and many others. You can also get a Hot Fudge Sundae, Chocolate Brownie Sundae and more.
Alethea Rowe, Cheesecake Factory senior director of public relations and global branding, said, “In 1978, our founder and CEO David Overton opened the first Cheesecake Factory restaurant in Beverly Hills to showcase his mother Evelyn’s cheesecakes. On opening day, there was a line out the door when the restaurant opened, and it was full in ten minutes. Forty-five years later, Evelyn’s cheesecakes remain just as popular as they were back then – in fact, her Original Cheesecake, topped with fresh strawberries, is still our most popular flavor!”
Cheesecake Factory, 24250 Town Center Drive, #110, Valencia, CA 91355; (661) 286-1232, www.thecheesecakefactory.com.
Family owned and operated, Piccola Trattoria has been serving delicious and authentic Italian cuisine for decades – and the desserts are equally as impressive. These include such classics as traditional Italian Tiramisu. You can also order Cannoli Siciliani, or Crostata di More, Flan al Cioccolato, Panna Cotta, or a Brown Butter Blackberry Tart served with vanilla bean ice cream.
Carmelo Terranova said, “I think we have a number of desserts that people keep coming back for, especially the staples, such as the Cannolis and Tiramisu. But they also love our Chocolate Molten Cake, which is a little more decadent. For our Sicilian Cannoli, the shells are imported from Sicily, and the cheese inside has just the right amount of sweetness. All our desserts are made fresh daily. We’ve been doing that for more than 15 years.”
Piccola Trattoria, 18302 Sierra Highway, #107, Santa Clarita, CA 91351; (661) 299-6952, https://www.piccolatrattoria.com/.
Known for its romantic setting and fine French cuisine, Le Chene excels in the dessert arena, as well. It offers one of the most expansive and unique dessert selections in the SCV, and, as you’d expect, with a French “flavor.” These include such enticing items as Chocolate Souffle, Grand Marnier Souffle, Chocolate Mousse, Crème Brulee, Crème Caramel, Pears Belle Helene and Strawberry Feuillette.
Le Chene, 12625 Sierra Highway, Santa Clarita, CA 91390; (661) 251-4315, https://lechene.com/.
BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse
Offering salads, pizzas, sandwiches, tacos, burgers, and more imaginative entrees, beyond the beer and food, BJ’s is known for its unforgettable Pizookie combos. These feature a huge cookie in a pan, topped by nearly anything you can think of. Just a few versions include: Strawberry Shortcake Pizookie, Hot Fudge Brownie Pizookie, Cookies ‘n’ Cream Pizookie, Salted Caramel Pizookie, Peanut Butter Pizookie, and Gluten-free Chocolate Chip Pizookie. You can also choose from several types of floats.
BJ’s Brewhouse, 24320 Town Center Drive, Valencia, CA 91355; (661) 288-1299, https://www.bjsrestaurants.com/.