Summer is the perfect time for dessert as well as an excuse to embrace your inner child. And lucky for us, Pittsburgh restaurants are great at playing up sweets from our past. Here are three treats that will take you back:
Spumoni ($6) at Stagioni, 2104 East Carson St., Southside. 412-586-4738.
Back in the day, spumoni desserts were composed of nut or fruit-filled ice cream layered with a liquor-soaked sponge cake. Today, spumoni is often a three-layer ice cream cake, as it is at Stagioni, where three homemade ice creams come together to make a delicious cake. It starts with strawberry, made with berries from Penn's Corner Farm Alliance, followed by pistachio and chocolate. The three are layered in a terrine mold to set. Once the loaf is sliced, the dessert is topped with cherry syrup and pistachio butter for a satisfying version of a favorite Italian dessert.
Funnel cake ($8) at Tako, 214 Sixth St., Downtown Pittsburgh. 412-471-8256.
Eat a country fair staple without wearing a layer of powdered sugar here. Still-warm fried dough arrives on a plate dressed with strawberry puree and topped with homemade vanilla ice cream. Eat fast or get into the soupiness; as the dough cools, the ice cream melts, making for a deliciously messy dessert.
Campfire s'mores milkshake ($6) at Burgatory, 932 Freeport Road, Fox Chapel. 412-781-1456 (sold in multiple locations).
Combine two childhood desserts in one with this sippable version of a campfire favorite. Burgatory blends homemade vanilla ice cream, crushed graham cracker, marshmallow fluff and chocolate syrup together. The shake is then served in a chilled, tall glass with a straw and spoon. Should you go the adult route, you can spike it with flavored vodka or bourbon for a few dollars extra.