A decadent delight

Figlio's red velvet cake is a slice above the rest

Normally, I'm all for sharing, but my greedy side took over at Figlio's on a recent Friday night. I was out for dinner with a couple of my best friends. We shared some entres, a bottle of wine and agreed to treat ourselves to dessert - a hearty slice of red velvet cake - by far the most memorable dish of the evening.

So much for sharing. I quickly dug into the gorgeous deep-red cake, allowing my friends a few crumbs while I savored bite after bite.

Figlio's red velvet cake ($8.95), which is served with a scoop of strawberry gelato, is a permanent fixture on the Uptown restaurant's menu, said sous-chef C.J. Van Proosdy. He said it's one of Figlio's most popular desserts and a unique standout on the menu, given the emphasis on Italian desserts, such as tiramisu and profiteroles (cream puffs).

The slice of red velvet cake is as gorgeous as it is tasty. It features three layers lined with cream cheese frosting and is topped with strawberry slices and mint.

&#8220We keep the plating real simple,” Van Proosdy said.

Like most red velvet cakes, the Figlio dessert is a chocolate cake that gets its striking color from red food coloring. The retro dessert, a signature dish in the South, has enjoyed a resurgence of popularity in restaurants across the county. Years ago, red velvet cakes got their reddish hue from cocoa, which took on the color after reacting with vinegar and buttermilk during the baking process.

The slice of red velvet I enjoyed at the Uptown bistro was sweet and satisfying, but not overwhelmingly rich. The cake commanded some serious attention with its bold and vibrant color - the kind of dish that caused other diners nearby to look over at our table with a case of serious dessert envy.

Figlio's

3001 Hennepin Ave. S.

822-1688

www.figlios.com