Looking for a late winter sugar lift? Check out Traverse food and wine editor Tim Tebeau’s suggestions for places to find dessert in Northern Michigan.

Patisserie Amie

237 Lake Avenue #200, Traverse City 231.922.9645

Crossing the threshold at Patisserie Amie you could just as easily be in Paris’s 15th arrondissement. Morning through afternoon locals queue in front of Patisserie Amie’s glittering pastry case, filling their boxes with artful raspberry tartes, Madeleines, layered Napoleons and airy macaroons. Back in the pastry kitchen chef/owner Eric Fritch and his crew work pâte à choux, methodically whisk rich vanilla custard and roll out dense handmade truffles. Guests can also savor their gâteau in the company of a steaming café au lait or snifter of Grand Marnier at the bar of Fritch’s adjoining café, recently relaunched as Brasserie Bobo. The brasserie serves savory crêpes, truffle omelets and iconic French entrées like Coquilles St. Jacques and Poulette au Pastis. Join us this month as we raid the North’s pastry cases to bid winter a sweet adieu.

Little Traverse Inn

149 East Harbor Highway, Maple City 231.228.2560

This cozy country gastro pub dishes up decadent old-school desserts from the British Isles, like sticky toffee pudding, bread pudding with whiskey sauce and a fruit crumble with warm housemade custard.

Underground Cheesecake Company

1375 Yellow Drive, Traverse City 231.929.4418

Fulfilling our fundamental need for cheesecake with heavy heart-clenching disks of pleasure, the Underground stakes its claim on proprietary delights like turtle sundae, chocolate hazelnut truffle and, of course, cherry swirl.

Julienne Tomatoes 

421 East Howard, Petoskey 231.439.9250

Petoskey’s buzzing breakfast and lunch hub also brings dessert virtuosity to its pastry case and catering menu. Indulge mammoth chocolate chip cookies, local fruit pies and tasty tortes like the coveted chocolate meteor and strawberry turban.

Galley Gourmet

4181 Main Street, Bay Harbor 231.439.2665

Stroll straight past the yacht basin to stoke your sugar buzz with Chef Karen Williams’s sublime universe of key lime tarts, meringues, coconut almond bars and handmade truffles.

 Dessert Pairing Primer

When hosting a dinner party or impressing a date, think of dessert as your food and wine finale. Pump up the pleasure of your pastry, pie or chocolate with a well-curated dessert wine pairing and brace for the praise. Read on for some sweet wine complements to three basic dessert categories.

Chocolate: Rosé bubbly, off-dry reds and fortified port-style wine make nice with almost any iteration of this classic aphrodisiac, whether it’s chocolate truffles, flourless torte or single origin bars.

Fruit: Orchard fruit pies, tarts and crisps find sweet synergy with ice wine, late harvest riesling or sweet ciders. If there’s caramel or nuts in the equation, look to a barrel- aged dessert wine or sweet brandy.

Pastry: Embrace the bubbly with cream- or custard-filled pastries. Sparkling rosés are ideal with red fruit or chocolate. Sweet tropical fruits call for demi-sec, and classic bruts will cover the balance.

This story was featured in the March 2015 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine.

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Photo(s) by Todd Zawistowski