Ken Foy was inspired to become a chef because of his mother. Except his mother wasn’t a chef — quite the opposite, actually.
“My mother couldn’t cook to save her life,” Foy joked. “Cooking was a necessity.”
Now, Foy is the co-owner and executive chef of Dante’s Fire. When creating the restaurant, he wanted to have a from-scratch kitchen that featured fine food for everyone. Co-owner Jon Tuck felt the same way about the cocktails.
Thus, Dante’s Fire was born. The restaurant is known for its delicious cuisine, cocktails, and late hours — they’re open until 2 a.m. daily (and yes, that includes the full menu, not just drinks).
As for the dessert menu, Foy said the majority of the items are based on season. Sometimes the restaurant tries new desserts; sometimes the old ones stay on the menu. But generally speaking, the menus change 3-4 times a year.
“There are a couple things we’ve tried to take off the menu,” Foy said. “But the guests revolt.”
One of those items is the Adult S’more.
The s’more starts off with a base layer of chocolate cookie. It’s topped with graham cracker ice cream and lightly-toasted vodka meringue. A separate plate with a swirl of Jack Daniel’s caramel sauce awaits it.
Now here’s the fun part:
The server pours a shot of Bacardi 151 on top of the meringue, takes out a lighter, and lights the dessert on fire. The flame only lasts for a couple seconds, but it’s awesome.
From there, the dessert is slid onto the plate with the caramel sauce.
Foy’s inspiration behind it?
“I wanted to light something on fire in the dining room,” he said.
One of the newer desserts on the menu is the Key Lime Strawberry Vereen.
“As we get into spring and summer months, we wanted some of that classic east coast key lime pie,” Foy said. “But we wanted to turn it on its head.”
The dessert is essentially a key lime pie with a twist.
A small pint glass is filled with key lime pie filling. Then come layers of strawberry jelly, Gran Marnier ice cream, graham cracker streusel, and brown sugar whipped cream.
Dante’s Fire also serves more traditional desserts, including the Devil’s Chocolate Cake, served with dark chocolate mousse, hazelnut syrup, and raspberry coulis.
“There’s something to be said for the need behind something rich and chocolate,” Foy said.
The restaurant also serves Salted Caramel Cheesecake with espresso semi-fredo, pistachio tuile, and a strawberry puree.
“The caramel cheesecake is traditional to a certain extent,” he said. “But the ingredients put it outside of that envelope.”
And, if you just can’t decide which dessert to order, the restaurant also offers a flight of your top three picks.
2526 E. Grant Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85716
Dessert in the Desert is a new 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.