Commander's Palace, New Orleans, LA
The turreted Victorian, located in the heart of the Garden District, still boasts the same turquoise-and-white awnings and
gingerbread trim outside, yet everything inside has been masterfully updated.
Each and every dessert here is still exceptional. I should know. I tried them all--twice. The pecan pie à la mode is rich and buttery, and the crème brûlée approaches perfection, yet the masterpiece remains the famous Creole Bread Pudding Soufflé.
Anticipation is half the fun. Diners must order this confection 20 minutes in advance. When it finally arrives, a server pierces the golden dome and drizzles it with a creamy whiskey sauce. The dessert is light as a cloud on top, dense and spicy on the bottom. When you take a bite--whether it's your first soufflé or your 31st--you'll offer a prayer of thanks that this New Orleans landmark lives on.
photo: Creole Bread Pudding Soufflé drizzled with whiskey sauce steals the show at Commander's Palace in New Orleans.