BEST RESTAURANT FOR DESSERT - 2003
May 15 is a magical day for Minnesotans, not just because it marks the day when we're encouraged to start planting annual plants out-of-doors, but because it's the day beloved Crema Café switches to summer hours. Yes! We made it through the winter! And as our reward, starting on May 15, Crema will be open every single day from at least noon to 11:00 p.m. And on Fridays and Saturdays, they'll stay open until midnight. Midnight! So much time to enjoy Sonny's, the best ice cream in the country (yes, we'll battle anyone who disagrees) made with cream from a tiny local organic dairy and pricey exotic ingredients (like $350-a-gallon vanilla). Ice cream that's made by hand, in teeny, tiny 15-gallon batches. Ice cream that makes the sky crack open and the cherubs descend from the heavens. Well, it feels like that anyway, especially in Crema's gorgeous Italianate courtyard, a stucco and wrought-iron fantasy filled with potted flowers that is so romantic it feels like a movie set. Coffee at Crema is marvelous too. It's Italian-style Porrefazioni, and it makes a potent and rounded cup. If the best ice cream and best coffee served in a romantic resort-style courtyard aren't enough for you, Crema also has a pastry chef (Lisa Genis, known from her work at Café Brenda) on hand, baking cakes and pies. And sometime this summer, if the City of Minneapolis plays nice, Crema will even have an ice-cream window outside so you can take your ice cream and stroll around the park next door. Then the place will be not only the best restaurant for dessert, but also the best reason to live in Minneapolis. Because if you can have handmade ice cream along with the rustle of summer trees in the moonlight, why would you ever live anywhere else?