Top 5 Popular Desserts in Oakville

I’ve never had a sweet tooth but when I’m out in Oakville, eating my way across town, I’m often tempted to try something from the dessert menu. Items range from timeless classics to those waxing nostalgic (here’s looking at you, carrot cake) to a carefully crafted masterpiece. Once you read this, you’ll want to try them all. Here are our top 5 popular desserts in Oakville.


5. Oliver & Bonacini Cafe Grill

Oliver’s Famous Carrot Cake has walnuts and sour cream gelato, and it is rather tasty. It’s an Oakville favourite, I’m told. This relaxed, refined cafe at Oakville Place is always full. Wood-fired pizza, pasta, and brunch faves such as Eggs Benedict are on the menu. The colour scheme is gorgeous — pink and purple curtains separate the dining area from semi-private party rooms. Aisles are wide and offer plenty of space for young stroller-pushing moms. A popular - and interesting item - on the menu is the Turkey Burger, with avocado, chipotle, and an onion ring. It’s served with a delicious side of skinny sweet potato fries. Millennials, there’s also Avocado Toast with hummus, vine-ripened tomato, crispy shallots, and the option to add crispy bacon for an extra $2.

Why it’s popular: The neutral gelato paired with the sweet cake is a unique combination of flavour.


4. Ritorno

The cannoli has chocolate chips; this north-end Italian joint is owned by Julia Hanna. With a warm interior, the Oak Walk Dr. resto houses an adorable Nonna Wall, honouring women who fed and nurtured their families, the server explains. She recommends the veal and the gnocchi, made in-house by Julia’s mother. I started with the Calamari Fritti -- the large portion of salty & crispy squid was coated with cornmeal then dusted with flour, served with a tasty cherry pepper basil aioli. The gnocchi, topped with Alla Vodka sauce and fresh greens, was soft and delicious, while the handbreaded veal parmigiana was thin, crispy, filling, and flavourful, served alongside spaghetti pomodoro. Ritorno means ‘to return’ and with food like this, how could you not be back for more?

Why it’s popular: It’s creamy and not too sweet.


3. Soontorn Bahn Thai

If the wide, wooden door and velvet curtains at the entrance don’t get you excited, you will be as soon as you’re seated. Bahn Thai’s modern, sexy vibe is punctuated by hot pink lighting, please-sit-super-close-to-me-so-our-knees-touch seating, and a dimly lit interior featuring circular booths, and benches with triangular pillows for lumbar support. It feels like a mini-vacation of sorts right in Towne Square. But you’re here for the food … the Fried Tofu and Taro were 50 per cent amazing — the taro was incredible but the tofu was a tad underwhelming. So I ate twice as much taro, dipping it in a honey-based sauce topped with peanuts. So, so good. If the name rings a bell, it’s because this long-running Burlington favourite on Fairview has been pleasing diners for 17 years (it’s been a decade in downtown Oakville). Popular appetizers include Thai Spring Rolls, Mango Salad, and Golden Squid (calamari). But if you really want to make the chef happy, order one of the Red Snapper dishes (such as Spicy Fish), which are doused in an outstanding red curry. For dessert, the sticky rice with mango is a no-brainer -- it's downright sinful.

Why it’s popular: It’s warm, sweet, and always hits the spot after a curry dish.


2. Pasquale's Trattoria

This restaurant on Lakeshore takes me back into time … when owners came out of the back to chat with you, shake your hand, and thank you for visiting. The owner, Pasquale, did just that. He’s old-school, and I’m charmed. Pasquale says his father ran Ristorante Pinocchio (in Etobicoke at Dundas and Islington) for decades and that’s where he began washing dishes at age 12. Speaking of dishes, the food is divine. The antipasto is lovely, with a great selection of salami and prosciutto, while the calamari is nicely seasoned and portioned perfectly. As for pasta, the pappardelle, made in-house, is served with bolognese sauce and makes for a delicious entree. (The gnocchi is downright sinful, although it isn’t made in-house). Meanwhile, the veal is perfectly cooked and is accompanied by tomatoes, roasted potatoes, and broccoli. The owner creates all of the desserts himself and takes great pride in his work. He recommends the mascarpone, and it’s absolutely amazing. Its airy texture is complemented by strawberries, and I detect a hint of booze -- Grand Marnier, it turns out. Pasquale’s opened in 2009 and the food and service is wonderful. You must go.

Why it’s popular: Layer upon layer of flavour.


1. Jonathans

Just head to Jonathans and order the souffle. The Thomas St. restaurant has been around since 1981 and offers classics such as Foie Gras Terrine and Fresh Australian Lamb Rack. The modern atmosphere is welcoming (as is the service), while the menu has a serious Asian influence. But back to dessert. Anyone who knows anything about dessert - and French cuisine - can attest to how challenging it is to nail a souffle. The best recipes start with milk, vanilla, sugar and eggs — plus, they’re fun to say, and even more fun to eat. If you haven’t tried it, what are you waiting for?

Why it’s popular: This souffle is 100, all the way.

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