Chocolate-dipped Bacon S'mores & Coconut Cake at Beckett's Table
When you want unpretentious yet high-end modern American fare, supposedly the place to go in town is Beckett's Table. Not only does the restaurant boast that great reputation, but it's also well-known for one particular dessert: chocolate-dipped bacon s'mores. Countless people have told me to try this porkified sweet dish over the past year, and Arizona Restaurant Week (mark your calendars for the spring edition next May) offered the perfect opportunity -- especially since it meant tasting two desserts instead of one.
Bacon and sugar belong together.
The first course, an arugula salad with bacon vinaigrette, was delicious and brought tons of bacon flavor, amping up the anticipation for a very bacony dessert. The entrée, beef bourguignon shepherd's pie, was so-so. While it had lots of luscious notes of red wine, the flavors were muddled together. But who cares when there's dessert on the way?
In the past, I've been lucky to try some seriously amazing bacon desserts (Tracey Dempsey's "Pig in the Orchard" bread pudding at Citizen Public House; bacon ice cream with apple caviar at Quinn's Pub in Seattle) that incorporated a rich, smoky bacon flavor. That wasn't my experience with the chocolate-covered bacon s'mores. The bacon was mostly salty, a tiny bit smoky, but not really meaty. In fact, the bacon vinaigrette in the first course was at least twice as bacony. First, this problem could be solved by using thick-cut bacon instead of a thin piece that reminds me of cheap breakfast. Second, the bacon flavor would be more pronounced if it was half-dipped in thick chocolate, not totally smothered. If you're going to have bacon in a dessert, don't shy away from it. Bring on the bacon!