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S'mores at Bonfire
S'mores at Bonfire
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These Desserts Are Great for Grownups, Too

Oreos, peanut butter cups, and ice cream bars for adults

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S'mores at Bonfire
| Official

Wanting to grow up faster is the hallmark of childhood. But seriously, kids don’t know how good they have it. Sure, it’s great not having to pay bills, argue about politics, or commute to work via Metro every morning. And who doesn’t love a long day of splashing in the pool, a princess tea party, or a rousing game of tag?

But the real M.V.P. of childhood is the amazing desserts. There were Oreos, Nutter Butters, Twinkies, sno balls, marshmallow Fluff, oatmeal creme pies, and the list goes on and on. That’s not even counting all the loot from the ice cream truck, like Creamsicles and Strawberry Shortcake Bars.

It just doesn’t seem fair that grown-ups are stuck with taxes AND desserts that have to be eaten with a fork. Thankfully, chefs in the city are cutting adults some slack: they’re creating slightly more sophisticated versions of childhood desserts. Whether it’s the addition of a compote, a bit of booze, or feuilletine, there’s no danger of social ridicule when enjoying these elevated kid-inspired mainstays.

Here are 18 recreations of childhood treats from local chefs. Get ready for a wave of nostalgia.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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701 Restaurant

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Most of 701’s desserts look like abstract art, and their take on a Creamsicle ($9) is no exception. The display includes vanilla parfait, orange sherbet, orange pieces, and crispy meringue.

Alta Strada

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For those who like to pull apart their Oreo cookies and eat the filling first, Alta Strada’s Mascarporeos ($10) are the perfect solution. This Italian version of the sandwich cookie is chocolate shortbread served with a dipping bowl of vanilla mascarpone filling.

Michelle Goldchain

America Eats Tavern

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The Good Humor Strawberry Shortcake Dessert Bar has an unmistakable flavor that brings back memories of the ice cream truck’s looping tune. America Eats has managed to recreate that flavor in their Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Bar ($8), which is made with strawberry sherbet, cream ice cream, and strawberry crumb.

Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken

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While it’s not exactly a dessert, the PB&J sandwich is a quintessential part of childhood for most. Astro Doughnuts takes this lunchbox staple and puts it into doughnut form. The strawberry-filled treat is topped with peanut butter glaze and crushed peanuts.

Black's Bar & Kitchen

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The Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup is already irresistible, but Black’s serves their housemade version ($11) with vanilla bean ice cream, chocolate tuile, and candied peanuts for an even more decadent dessert.

Bonfire

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As their name implies, Bonfire has no shortage of s’mores ($6) on the menu. In addition to the classic iteration, there are also several creative variations, such as the blueberry lemon s’more with shortbread, Chinese five spice ganache, blueberry compote, and a lemon marshmallow; and the toasted coconut s’more with graham cracker, coconut marshmallow, and dark chocolate ganache. The marshmallows and graham crackers are made in house daily.

Buttercream Bakeshop

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Instead of battering and frying their Oreos, Buttercream Bakeshop turns them into colorful gems. Mini Oreos are packed into gem molds, coated with white chocolate, and swirled with custom colors to create a geometric gemstone look. They are $2.65 each when available a la carte at the store, or $63.50 for a 24-piece custom order.

Central Michel Richard

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Have a break with Michel’s Chocolate Bar ($11), which is often compared to a KitKat. It’s a crispy layer of feuilletine and hazelnut paste, topped with a layer of chocolate mousse, and served in a hazelnut sauce with crispy chocolate pearls.

Clyde's of Chevy Chase

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Most kids would take a Fluffernutter sandwich over a PB&J any day. Clyde’s of Chevy Chase makes a Fluffernutter Bar ($7.50) with peanut butter mousse, homemade marshmallow cream very similar to Fluff, peanut butter cookie crust, strawberry jam, and whipped cream.

Del Campo

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Del Campo has reimagined the Hostess Twinkie in the best way. Their Tres Leches Twinkies ($10) are soaked, Twinkie-shaped cakes with a line of meringue on top and passion fruit sorbet to go with it.

DNV Rooftop Lounge

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No pool day is complete without an ice pop from the concession stand, so DNV decided to offer their guests adult versions of the frozen treat. An order of Selfie Sticks ($15) includes three boozy popsicles in rotating flavors like red sangria, white sangria, and dark rum with coffee.

Masa 14

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Masa 14’s new chef’s table tasting menu is eight to thirteen courses of innovative and artful creations presented tableside. One of the courses on the current menu includes a Nutter Butter reimagined with a foie gras filling. The homemade peanut butter and foie cookie is presented on a bed of peanuts inside a ceramic peanut.

Milk Bar

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Perhaps the most coveted recreation of a childhood favorite is Christina Tosi’s cereal milk and fruity cereal milk soft serve ($5). Just ask the masses standing in line for hours. The ice cream is made to taste like the milk left after a bowl of cornflakes or fruity pebbles.

Radiator

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Dunking a cookie in milk is one of childhood’s greatest pleasures, so Radiator grants that pleasure to diners with their Milk and Cookies dessert ($9). The rich Heath Bar cookies are accompanied by a slightly tart yogurt panna cotta, which is the right consistency for dipping or eating with a spoon.

Room 11

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When the Choco Taco isn’t available at Room 11, opt for Paisley Fig’s Throwback Dessert Trio ($9) instead. It features a “Watchamacallit” Bar, a Raspberry Cream Sno Ball, and a Toasted Oat Brown Butter Whoopie Pie. The bar is a grown-up take on the classic Hershey’s Bar; the Sno Ball is inspired by Hostess Sno Balls; the whoopie pie is a cross between the Maine favorite and Little Debbie’s Oatmeal Creme Pies.

Southern Efficiency

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Southern Efficiency’s new summer cocktail menu takes guests to a whiskey-focused adult summer camp, Camp Iwannawhiskey. Moonrise Milk Punch ($12) is like a s’more with a glass of milk…and some whiskey. It’s made with One Eight White Whiskey, High West Campfire Whiskey, crème de cacao, toasted marshmallow syrup, milk, and salt.

Ted's Bulletin

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Of course, this list has to include the Ted’s Bulletin’s take on the Pop-Tart. The dessert standby comes in a variety of flavors, including strawberry, salted caramel, brown sugar and cinnamon, blueberry cheesecake, and rotating seasonal options.

WK Hearth

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Fig Newtons might not have been any kid’s favorite snack, but WK Hearth has upgraded the cookie with fresh figs ($7). Their creation is an orange-cinnamon farmhouse soft dough wrapped around a compote of macerated figs and sugar.

701 Restaurant

Most of 701’s desserts look like abstract art, and their take on a Creamsicle ($9) is no exception. The display includes vanilla parfait, orange sherbet, orange pieces, and crispy meringue.

Alta Strada

Michelle Goldchain

For those who like to pull apart their Oreo cookies and eat the filling first, Alta Strada’s Mascarporeos ($10) are the perfect solution. This Italian version of the sandwich cookie is chocolate shortbread served with a dipping bowl of vanilla mascarpone filling.

Michelle Goldchain

America Eats Tavern

The Good Humor Strawberry Shortcake Dessert Bar has an unmistakable flavor that brings back memories of the ice cream truck’s looping tune. America Eats has managed to recreate that flavor in their Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Bar ($8), which is made with strawberry sherbet, cream ice cream, and strawberry crumb.

Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken

While it’s not exactly a dessert, the PB&J sandwich is a quintessential part of childhood for most. Astro Doughnuts takes this lunchbox staple and puts it into doughnut form. The strawberry-filled treat is topped with peanut butter glaze and crushed peanuts.

Black's Bar & Kitchen

The Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup is already irresistible, but Black’s serves their housemade version ($11) with vanilla bean ice cream, chocolate tuile, and candied peanuts for an even more decadent dessert.

Bonfire

As their name implies, Bonfire has no shortage of s’mores ($6) on the menu. In addition to the classic iteration, there are also several creative variations, such as the blueberry lemon s’more with shortbread, Chinese five spice ganache, blueberry compote, and a lemon marshmallow; and the toasted coconut s’more with graham cracker, coconut marshmallow, and dark chocolate ganache. The marshmallows and graham crackers are made in house daily.

Buttercream Bakeshop

Instead of battering and frying their Oreos, Buttercream Bakeshop turns them into colorful gems. Mini Oreos are packed into gem molds, coated with white chocolate, and swirled with custom colors to create a geometric gemstone look. They are $2.65 each when available a la carte at the store, or $63.50 for a 24-piece custom order.

Central Michel Richard

Have a break with Michel’s Chocolate Bar ($11), which is often compared to a KitKat. It’s a crispy layer of feuilletine and hazelnut paste, topped with a layer of chocolate mousse, and served in a hazelnut sauce with crispy chocolate pearls.

Clyde's of Chevy Chase

Most kids would take a Fluffernutter sandwich over a PB&J any day. Clyde’s of Chevy Chase makes a Fluffernutter Bar ($7.50) with peanut butter mousse, homemade marshmallow cream very similar to Fluff, peanut butter cookie crust, strawberry jam, and whipped cream.

Del Campo

Del Campo has reimagined the Hostess Twinkie in the best way. Their Tres Leches Twinkies ($10) are soaked, Twinkie-shaped cakes with a line of meringue on top and passion fruit sorbet to go with it.

DNV Rooftop Lounge

No pool day is complete without an ice pop from the concession stand, so DNV decided to offer their guests adult versions of the frozen treat. An order of Selfie Sticks ($15) includes three boozy popsicles in rotating flavors like red sangria, white sangria, and dark rum with coffee.

Masa 14