clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Where to Indulge on Vintage Desserts in Seattle

Baked Alaska, Cherries Jubilee, and more favorites in honor of Classics Week.

Dahlia Lounge's Coconut Cream Pie
Dahlia Lounge's Coconut Cream Pie
Ed Anderson

classics week logoAsk any American chef what their last meal would be, and most won't tick off a list of hyper-modern, trendy foods. What they'd want is Mom's meatloaf, homemade enchiladas, a classic chocolate layer cake. Something familiar, something comforting. Even the most experimental food lover craves something classic from time to time. Here now, some extra special vintage desserts still being served around town.

SkyCity at the Needle: Seattle World's Fair Space Needle ice cream sundae: The Lunar Orbiter!

As old as the Space Needle itself, this dessert is the sole survivor of the restaurant-in-the-sky's original 1960's menu. Locally crafted ice cream is topped with Belgian chocolate sauce, salted caramel, or berry coulis. And like a leather-pants-clad 1980s hair band singer, the sundae comes out in a cloud of smoke and fog, thanks to some dramatic dry ice.

AQUA by El Gaucho: Emerald City Volcano AKA Baked Alaska

If you wanted plain old ice cream cake, you'd buy one from Baskin-Robbins and eat it on the couch, in your underpants. But the whole point of Baked Alaska is the show that comes with it, and at AQUA by El Gaucho there's no shortage of fire and drama. It's a volcano shaped vanilla génoise cake, but instead of a molten core, there's an ice cold, double chocolate and Bourdeaux cherry ice cream center. The whole thing is coated in meringue and lit on fire, tableside, with a little help from some flamable cherry liquor. You do have to wear pants, but it's worth it.

Metropolitan Grill: Bananas Foster and Cherries Jubilee

A classic steakhouse calls for classic desserts, and at The Met you will find old school, cozy favorites, not trending flavor combinations. Both the Bananas Foster and Cherries Jubilee are prepared tableside, and both are heady with butter, brown sugar and booze. But while the Bananas Foster is drunk on Captain Morgan and Bacardi 151°, Cherries Jubilee is made tipsy with splashes of Chambord liqueur and Cognac. Both are served with Madagascar vanilla ice cream and intended to be shared by two.

Canlis: Canlis Souffle

Fancy. That's one word to describe Canlis, described by its website as "the swankest, dressiest restaurant in Seattle." Since it opened in 1950, countless couples have gotten engaged over a Canlis dessert. And nothing goes better with a classic diamond ring, than a classic Canlis Souffle. It features Grand Marnier, orange zest, and crème anglaise and is marked with a signature powdered sugar "C." The souffle takes 30 minutes to prepare; presumably plenty of time to decide if you want to say "yes."

Dahlia Lounge, Dahlia Bakery, Palace Kitchen: Triple Coconut Cream Pie

In the golden age of slapstick comedy, you were more likely to get a cream pie in the face, than on your plate. But Tom Douglas has revived this old school dessert by making it his signature, and serving it at many of his restaurants around Seattle. Sky high, creamy, fluffy and indulgent, it's hard to stop spooning this coconut, white chocolate pie into your pie hole. Big enough to share, there's no law that says you have to.

—Rachel Belle

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater Seattle newsletter

The freshest news from the local food world