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Gwen Ashley Walters
June, 2010, Page 192
Photo by Richard Maack
Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs’ Pastry Chef Lara Coleman must take the name of the resort’s hilltop restaurant – Different Pointe of View – to heart when she dreams up her sweet endings. Coleman constructs visually artistic plates of flavors and textures to match the restaurant’s spectacular view.
A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in New York, Coleman has been crafting eye-catching desserts at Tapatio Cliffs for more than five years, but she’s whipped her whisk at several top resorts, including The Boulders and The Phoenician here, Canyon Ranch in Tucson, a Ritz-Carlton in Florida and the Bellagio in Las Vegas.
She just introduced a new dessert called Cuba Libre ($9), celebrating the popular island drink of rum and Coke with a splash of lime. A lopsided bowl is the perfect vessel to showcase Coleman’s ode to lazy summer days.
Tahitian vanilla panna cotta buoys a square of dense, fudgy cake, with milk chocolate panna cotta rising up one side of the bowl. The dish gets its name from a scoop of ice cream made with Coke syrup, rum and a spritz of lime – the same ingredients in the popular beach drink Cuba Libre. A thin plank of textured dark chocolate sprinkled with red velvet cake crumbs adds richness. To offset the smooth creaminess of the panna cottas, Coleman sprinkles the dessert with caramel brittle crushed with pretzels and cocoa nibs.
“I wanted to bring in a salty sweet element,” Coleman says. That’s the thing about Coleman’s desserts – all have multiple texture and flavor profiles, including her other island-inspired summer dessert, simply called “pineapple and coconut.”
It’s hard to top the restaurant’s sweeping view of twinkling city lights, but we think Coleman’s desserts come pretty close.
Different Pointe of View
(Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs)
11111 N. Seventh St., Phoenix
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