Appetizers At Highland Kitchen And Desserts At The Chocolate Tarte

Last Wednesday night, Emily picked me up, and we headed over to Highland Kitchen for some appetizers and drinks before an event at The Chocolate Tarte. We knew we'd be having plenty of sweets at The Chocolate Tarte so we wanted to keep dinner light. Actually, it wasn't so much dinner we were looking for as a few small bites to prepare us for all the sugar ahead.

Emily ordered a glass of Riesling, and I went with some bubbly. When I saw grilled artichokes on the specials menu, I quickly suggested those. I've been seeing recipes for artichokes everywhere lately and apparently developed a little craving that Highland Kitchen was able to satisfy. Emily picked out the chicken tostadas, and the two dishes provided just enough to fill us up without overfilling us.

I really enjoyed both appetizers. The chicken tostadas were absolutely loaded with chicken, cheese, and beans and had a bit of a kick.

The grilled artichokes, with their visible char marks, were the quintessential spring dish.

We finished off our drinks and headed down the road to The Chocolate Tarte, where we were immediately greeted with a gorgeous red velvet cake.

We soon met owner Linda Hein. She does everything herself! And she only has a regular stove like you or I would have in our kitchens. I was beyond impressed.

In addition to the cake, Linda set out three kinds of cupcakes for us. I already knew I was in love with her chocolate cupcakes after sampling them at CupcakeCamp, so I immediately went for one of those. It was as good as I remembered. The cupcake part was incredibly moist, and the frosting was smooth, creamy, and not too sweet. There were also red velvet and white velvet cupcakes.

Linda also makes a lot of chocolates, and she set out an assortment for us to try. I made my way through almost all of them between the ones I tried at the shop and the leftovers I brought home.

I also tried a small piece of brownie, which was rich and fudgy.

And then I tried what I ended up being my favorite treat of the night: a chocolate rosemary tarte. It was mostly sweet and just a little savory, and I loved the bit of crunch from the chocolate crust.

And as if all of that wasn't enough, she cut into that gorgeous red velvet cake I mentioned seeing on the way in and offered us scoops of SoCo Creamery ice cream with it.

I paired the cake with the Mission Fig ice cream. I'd never had a fig ice cream before and found it pleasantly sweet and mildly figgy. The red velvet cake had that same smooth buttercream that Linda uses on the cupcakes. The cake was moist with a crunchy brown edge. Linda explained that she used to cut the edge off but later began leaving it because it's one of her favorite parts and she figured others might enjoy it as well. We certainly did.

We enjoyed everything actually. If you're looking for sweet treats for an upcoming event or just for yourself, I highly recommend that you keep The Chocolate Tarte in mind.

A huge thank you to Linda for inviting us all in and treating us to so many goodies and to Elizabeth for organizing!

Have you been to the The Chocolate Tarte?