Many would argue the best part of any meal is dessert. As a result, this article will not focus on restaurants but rather cafes solely specializing in indulgent sweets, both cold and hot.
Our first stop is Amorino, a gelato shop in the new luxurious River Oaks District. If you go to its neighbor Hopdoddy first, you can enjoy an affordable meal in a wildly unaffordable mall. Started by two Italians in the heart of Paris in 2002, Amorino has locations spanning the globe, which is showcased by the ingredients used to make its products.
While Amorino offers a wide variety of desserts including crepes, macarons, coffee and iced drinks, my friend and I opted for the gelato and sorbet. The flavors hit a proper balance of quantity versus quality; we did not find the crazy unique options of ice cream shop Cloud 10 Creamery, but every flavor we did try was absolutely spot on. However, one major differentiator for this gelato shop is the presentation — if you order a cone, the server will arrange your gelato scoops to look like flower petals, with the finished product in the shape of a rose.
Although you can include up to five flavors in a cone, I decided to stick with the chocolate hazelnut and dulce de leche gelatos and the mango sorbet. As you could probably guess, the chocolate hazelnut and dulce de leche flavors were just richer versions of Nutella and caramel, respectively. However, the unassuming mango sorbet really blew me away with its creamy texture and full flavor that are so hard to find in sorbets. Each smooth bite was reminiscent of the gelatos of Spain and Italy.
Amorino is more expensive than your average Baskin Robbins, but falls within the category of high quality ice cream shops like ice cream shop Cloud 10 Creamery and Fat Cat Creamery, at a price of $6 per cone. The splurge is well worth it.
Our next stop, further down Westheimer, is Sleek (sometimes spelled Slik) Chocolatier. Chocoholics, this one is for you. The Houston outpost is actually the first U.S. location of this Syrian brand and you can easily recognize its Middle Eastern roots in menu items such as shawarma.
Given that this is solely a dessert place, my friend and I were a bit confused about what the shawarma would be, so we decided to get a chocolate waffle and triple chocolate crepe for $6.99 each. Like Amorino, the presentation was incredible. We’re talking chocolate art incredible. Both dishes came out completely drizzled in warm white, milk and dark chocolate. While the crepe and waffle themselves were nothing special on their own, each chocolate-covered bite was melt-in-your-mouth good.
In addition to shawarma, crepes and waffles, the menu offers many other items such as a hot chocolate shot. Also, next to the cash register are large glass display cases of handmade chocolates that run the gamut of flavors. Overall, Sleek is a chocolate lover’s dream at a reasonable price.
To sum up, if you and your friends are planning a Treat Yo Self Day, be sure to include Amorino or Sleek on the itinerary.