Gourmet cupcakes, French macarons and fancy doughnuts have all had their spotlight as the trendy dessert of the moment. I think it’s cheesecake’s turn.
For 10 years Rhonda Morris has been crafting wild flavors at her shop, Lucki’s Cheesecakes, 7111 W. McNichols in Detroit. Besides the classics like raspberry and strawberry, Morris makes flavors like purple rain (it’s raspberry, naturally), pudding, mango CÎROC (the vodka) and a brightly-colored, kid-friendly cheesecake inspired by Superman ice cream.
Morris says she’s getting ready to open a second Lucki’s at Trumbull and Warren in November. (There’s also a Lucki’s Cheesecake on 8 Mile east of Woodward, but Morris says she’s not affiliated.)
The business was started by Morris’ daughter, Lucki Word, who was just 15 at the time. She’s now at Wayne State University studying medicine, so mom is running the shop. Besides selling colorful slices and whole pies from the Detroit shop, Lucki’s Cheesecakes are also available at nearby restaurants like Motor City Soul Food, Fresh Fish House and I Luv Cheese pasta bar in downtown Detroit.
Morris, who also sells homemade ice cream, said business got a shot in the arm just after they started a decade ago with a feature on WDIV-TV.
Another local cheesecake name, Peteet’s Famous Cheesecakes, knows how important exposure can be to business. Over the summer owners got some of their pies in the hands of comedian and television host Steve Harvey. The “Family Feud” star posted a video to Facebook praising their product.
“We’re old school, all we do is eat pie,” Harvey said in the video. “This is the best cheesecake I’ve ever tasted.”
Peteet’s is known for two-layered cheesecakes and recently introduced cheesecake-topped cupcakes. Available for the holidays is a pumpkin cheesecake, a fluffier alternative to pumpkin pie without an overwhelming squash taste. Other unique ingredients found here are strawberry shortcake and vodka, sweet potato (available gluten-free) and pineapple.
Peteet’s has locations at 13835 W. Nine Mile in Oak Park and 6548 Orchard Lake in West Bloomfield. Visit peteetscheesecakes.com.
New desserts at Central Kitchen + Bar
In other sugar-buzz news, downtown Detroit’s Central Kitchen + Bar has added three new desserts to its menu for fall.
A chocolate ganache tart is served topped with macerated strawberries and vanilla mousse, and the peanut butter semifreddo is a semi-frozen dish, kind of like frozen mousse. Perfect for autumn, the apple pie crisp has caramel gelato and almond crumble.
These three new treats are offered in addition to the restaurant’s gelato-of-the-week, house-made sorbet and cookie sandwich.
Cental Kitchen is in Campus Martius at 660 Woodward. Call (313) 963-9000.
■This week Hard Rock Cafe debuted an extended vegetarian menu to celebrate Vegetarian Awareness Month. Available through Nov. 13, the options include Buffalo-style cauliflower, ratatouille flatbread, pico de gallo and quinoa arugula salad, cauliflower burger and a salad with fennel, roasted beets and orange. Hard Rock Cafe Detroit is at 45 Monroe.
■The Root Restaurant & Bar in White Lake will host its annual Pumpkin Feast on Oct. 27. Chef Nick Rogers will prepare five courses that highlight locally-grown pumpkins. The event is $65 per person, $85 with beer pairings. Call (248) 698-2400 to reserve.
■Crispelli’s Bakery and Pizzeria is celebrating two years at its West Bloomfield location, 6690 Orchard Lake. Guests who visit Oct. 17-23 can be entered to win free pizza each week for a year.