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Dessert in the Desert: Café a la C’Art

A variety of sweets fill the rotating dessert case at Café a la C’Art.

July 24, 2017

Dessert in the Desert

Dining at Café a la C’Art, located in the Tucson Museum of Art, is quite the experience. With delicious food and a picturesque garden patio, what more does a diner need?

Oh, right. Desserts. Every diner needs a good dessert, and Café a la C’Art certainly excels in that area.

“Our pastries are who we are,” owner Mark Jorbin said. “They’re our identity. They’re something we’re really proud of.”

He said inspiration for their dessert menu is based on seasonal and local ingredients.

“We try to have an upscale café twist,” Jorbin said. “But we try to keep food fairly simplistic with an emphasis on freshness. We encourage our team to be really creative and contribute their ideas to give us a nice variety. It keeps things somewhat eclectic and interesting.”

The pastry case is one of the first things you see when walking into Café a la C’Art. (Photo Credit: Jamie Williams)

When walking into Café a la C’Art, the first thing you see is an antique pastry case filled with goodies galore.

“The pastry case really grabs your attention,” Jorbin said. “We actually encourage guests to eat dessert first because it’s a central part of the restaurant.”

Amongst the many desserts in the pastry case, the Chocolate Bomb and the Mixed Berry Buttermilk Cake usually make an appearance. Café a la C’Art’s pastry chef, Lora Quarrella, fills the rest of the case with desserts inspired by seasons and holidays, which Jorbin calls a “pastry chef’s whim.”

The Mixed Berry Buttermilk Cake is one of the many cakes offered at Café a la C’Art. (Photo Credit: Jamie Williams)

“We’ve had the same pastry chef for 16 or 17 years,” he said of Quarrella. “I’m extremely proud of her work. I think she’s one of the best pastry chefs in the city.”

Aside from the Chocolate Bomb and the Mixed Berry Buttermilk Cake, Jorbin said the cookie bars are a constant fan favorite. The restaurant rotates through seven different flavors.

But of all the desserts at Café a la C’Art, Jorbin’s favorite is the Cherry Vanilla Scones.

The Cherry Vanilla Scones are owner Mark Jorbin’s favorite. (Photo Credit: Jamie Williams)

“It’s one of my most favorite desserts,” he said. “But it’s not even really a dessert; it’s a breakfast pastry.”

Jorbin said the scones are almost always in the pastry case.

“They have a creamy texture. They’re unlike any other scones,” he said. “When Lora has extra dough, she always makes an extra one for me as a sample.”

Other desserts offered at Café a la C’Art include cakes (like the chocolate sour cream cake pictured above), cupcakes, pies, cheesecakes, cookies, and tortes in a variety of flavors; brownies, bread pudding, tiramisu, eclairs, cream puffs, chocolate mousse squares, chocolate ganache bites, danishes, and fruit tarts.

Since the pastry case changes daily, you never know what you’re going to get. But if anything’s certain, it’s that you’ll be more than happy with your choices.

Café a la C’Art
150 N. Main Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85701
520-628-8533


Dessert in the Desert is a series highlighting desserts in Tucson. The main courses at restaurants get all the rage, as they should, but what about desserts? They deserve a spotlight, too.


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