Sweet of the Week: Chocolate and Raspberries at Cherry Circle Room

It may be called Cherry Circle Room, but raspberries take the cake for the best dessert on the menu at this regal dining room inside the Chicago Athletic Association hotel. The perfect icing on the cake for a recent staycation at the downtown hotel, dinner at Cherry Circle Room is a wonder to behold, especially considering the absolutely unparalleled beauty of the space. The restaurant operates as a lavish throwback to the hotel’s original heyday in the 1890’s. Then, the Cherry Circle Room was the hot ticket restaurant in downtown Chicago. Now, under the direction of chef Peter Coenen, the restaurant looks to bring some of that pomp and circumstance back. And they’re off to a good start, if desserts like this chocolate-raspberry number are any indication. 

Cherry Circle Room
Cherry Circle Room

An apt exclamation point to punctuate a dinner at Cherry Circle Room, the chocolate-raspberry creation is unlike any berry dessert you’ve tasted before. Not only is it strikingly beautiful and complex, laden with varying textures, shapes, and colors, but it’s equally luscious. Housemade “Heath Bars” lend crunch, coupled with tender morsels of moist chocolate cake, dollops of tart raspberry sauce, and tubular mounds of creamy chocolate custard. My favorite part was the smattering of raspberries dotted around the plate. Sure the berries were bracingly fresh, but each one boasted a little surprise inside, filled to the brim with tangy raspberry jam. Inside and out, this was truly a dessert to remember. 

- Matt Kirouac