After a full meal at Cavatore Italian Restaurant, 2120 Ella Blvd., you might be tempted to skip dessert. That would be a big mistake.
Although many of the favorites on the menu have been around for a long time, Federico Cavatore, who has worked at his family’s restaurant since 2001, says that in the past couple of years, they’ve taken their desserts to the next level.
After sampling most of them, I’d have to agree.
Cavatore said that they get some of their cakes and pies from Three Brothers Bakery, but in a recent informal social media poll, readers mentioned the in-house offerings as their runaway picks.
Giancarlo and Ana Cavatore opened their Italian restaurant in 1983 but what you may not know is that two years before that they opened La Tour d’Argent – now the Rainbow Lodge – across the street. Their French restaurant was where mousse first appeared on the dessert menu.
To create the chocolate shell, or bowl, that the white or dark chocolate mousse rests in, the chefs at Cavatore heat chocolate and dip a balloon in it. When they pop the balloon, presto – a chocolate vessel.
Another Cavatore specialty with a French influence is their profiteroles, sometimes known at choux à la crème. A profiterole is a pastry ball filled with something moist and sweet, like whipped cream, custard, pastry cream, or ice cream. At Cavatore, the puff pastries, which are made twice a week, are filled with white chocolate mousse and served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce.
Tiramisu, a coffee-flavored Italian dessert, has been a staple on the menu at Cavatore since the beginning. It’s Federico’s grandmother’s recipe and he says that he remembers eating it all the time as a boy visiting his Nonna. Even as an adult, for many years, he had the Tiramisu for breakfast.
“We haven’t changed it,” Federico said. “It has a creamy texture, and is great with coffee. It’s what we bring out to those celebrating a birthday. You can’t go wrong with it.”
One dessert that they have experimented with is their cannoli. Federico said that they used to use a cherry filling but it made the dessert too pink and it was too sweet.
“We’ve been playing around with it for the past two years,” said Federico. “Now it’s an amaretto filling with Nutella. I was brought up on Nutella.”
For the adults, there is also a Cavatore Coffee with assorted liquors, including crème de mint.
“We’ve had it on the menu for 25 years,” said Federico. “It’s wonderful.”
Customer favorites from Three Brothers Bakery include the Italian cream cake and the key lime pie, which is a seasonal offering.
Federico notes that Three Brothers won first place for their Key Lime pie in a Florida contest last summer, which is quite a coup, as the pie originated in Florida.
Cavatore is still a family owned restaurant. Giancarlo has passed away, but Ana still comes by the barn that her husband had brought in from Bastrop, to have coffee mornings with Federico and his sister Dolores, who keeps the books.
Federico said that typically people get dessert there after a meal and that they don’t come in just for dessert. But if you are just in the mood for something sweet, a solo stop may be just the ticket.