The Old-School Dessert Plate is Alive, if Not Well, At Taverna

Behold! Dessert Plate! I first met you back in high school, where I thanklessly waited tables at a seafood-meets-steak house on the Chesapeake Bay. There, in the walk-in fridge, you sat perched at the ready, covered in cellophane and prepared to advertize your glorious bounty to diners already stuffed with cheap steak and cheese biscuits.

Is that a German chocolate cake I see? Indeed it is! Look how you lean after hours of duty. Slumped from the exhaustion of tirelessly hawking your subtle sweetness all afternoon -- or did you work last evening too? Perhaps your posture is a gesture, so I might better see the soggy tiramisu hiding in your shadow. He deserves attention too.

Or flourless chocolate cake! Impressive. Between a burnt creme brulee and a stiff strawberry panna cotta you wait, ready to release your molten goo when liberated by the tines of my fork. I won't tell anyone you're nothing more than undercooked brownie batter. Your secret is safe with me.

You harken another era, Taverna dessert tray. One where broiled fish and a vegetable medley of squash and carrots could be dressed up with a garnish of curly leaf parsley and a lemon slice. Where polyester bow ties marked uniform of choice for a discerning wait staff and smoking was allowed at the bar.

Surely there's a better way to advertize dessert offerings -- on a printed menu with delicious descriptions, or teased out by a server with colorful and salacious verbiage delivered at each table after entrees are cleared. Anything would be better than you, a tired-looking tray of desserts plated hours ago. The practice stopped at nearly every other respectable restaurant. And, as difficult as this is to say, after delivering such a wonderful brunch, it should probably stop at Taverna, too.

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