3011 University Avenue, North Park
It wasn’t much more than a year ago that longstanding North Park dessert spot Heaven Sent moved from its 30th and University corner location into a smaller space two doors down. So I was surprised to pass by said smaller space last week and notice a different name over the door: Figaro Desserts.
That said, when I took a look inside, things didn’t look all that different. I still find a glass case filled with the identical cupcakes, macarons, and other sweet pastries that inspired so many tough ordering decisions at Heaven Sent.
Upon further inspection, I learned the shop is under new ownership but still serving plenty of Heaven Sent desserts and pastries, made by the same hands. Word is, the new owners are branching out from their other shop, Café Figaro, better known as a the place jurors stranded inside downtown’s Hall of Justice try to make the time pass with coffee and snacks.
Probably the most obvious change is a rich assortment of gelatos from Bottega Italiana, a brand the may be familiar to travelers to Seattle’s Pie Place Market. Gelato is pretty boring — by which I mean it’s boring to talk about how delicious it is — so I scanned the case to see if any new sweets called my name. The colorful array of macarons did, for sure — especially the bright purple cassis (blackcurrant flavored) and the less photogenic but tasty salted caramel.
I’ve tried those before. New to me was the waffled hunk of chocolate bar, labeled vegan- and gluten-free. It had sort of a matte finish rather than the shiny, waxy gloss of chocolate candy bars. I worried it would be flat and crumbling, or chunky with flax seeds inside, or some kind of non-gluten vegan-y thing.
Instead, digging in revealed a thin bottom layer of cake, almost like a brownie wafer. The bulk of the bar tasted creamy and rich, like chocolate truffle, its sweetness bolstered by coconut milk.
That’s a pretty decadent dessert to satisfy so many dietary restrictions, and a tasty reminder North Park hasn’t lost a Heaven Sent, it’s gained a gelato.