The exterior of the Natick Mall location
Chocolate mousse freebie
Illy coffee, only the best
It wasn't long before our desserts arrived. Mom ordered one of Finale's signature desserts, the molten chocolate cake. It comes as a personal-sized chocolate cake, accompanied by candied almonds and a pool of dark chocolate sauce. Usually, there is a scoop of espresso gelato as well, but my mom requested it sans ice cream.
Cake topped with a flurry of powdered sugar
Once the cake was punctured, the liquid center began oozing out. I stole a small taste, and let me tell you, if you like chocolate cake, it doesn't get any better than this. The creamy, silky interior combined with the slight sugary crunch of the cakey exterior-- pure heaven.
Molten center in actionI ordered one of my favorite desserts on their menu, the fresh fruit sampler. Part of the reason why I like it is it doesn't make me feel sick after eating it (this is a fault of my stomach, not a fault of Finale, let's be clear about that), but it's also just plain delicious. The sampler comes as a display of fresh fruit around a pecan tuile cup holding two scoops vanilla gelato. You can request any other flavor of gelato or sorbet, but I love their vanilla-- it's Ciao Bella and incredibly yummy. I also asked for extra berries, which they gave me-- and charged for (Finale does have some weird pricing policies sometimes...).
Fruit, ice cream, and cookie: all three major food groups
The fruit was sweet and fresh and tangy, everything fruit should be-- I even ate the grapefruit segments, and I don't like grapefruit. But the ice cream is the centerpiece of the dish, and it was cold, creamy and satisfying. The pecan tuile is like a huge, nutty florentine cookie, and it's anchored to the plate with a dollop of pastry cream, which acts as a surprise bonus rewardfor getting to the bottom of the cup.
You can see the vanilla bean flecks in the gelato-- and the creative chocolate garnish
Once finished, we paid our bill and left, passing the pastry case full of other tempting delights on the way out. The cupcakes, in particular, are noteworthy here. If I hadn't just eaten an enormous dessert, I might have gotten one.
A jewel box of edible goodies
The chocolate cake with white frosting is incredibly good
Sure, I could comment on the restaurant's decor-- a crisp color scheme of black and red-- and the fact that their water tastes extra good (well, it DOES). Sure, I could note the friendly and prompt service and the ample room between tables. Sure, I could also mention the somewhat bizarre and incomprehensible pricing schemes they often concoct... and the fact that it's tough to get a table in some of the locations at prime times of night. But none of that really matters. Finale makes incredible, earth-shatteringly delicious desserts. It's one of the few places I actually miss since moving to Manhattan, and it's the type of restaurant I want to own myself some day. I would go there every day if I could. For these reasons, I deem Finale my first and highly distinguished five Offset Spatula restaurant.