This is a common scenario in my life: It's the weekend and after midnight. Date night, too. After a couple of cocktails we're in the mood for something sweet.

In my mind, dessert is the best kind of nightcap -- a blissful finale to a night out.

Problem: There are very few kitchens open past midnight in the Twin Cities, much less kitchens making quality desserts.

Not to worry. After some serious research (super serious!), I have come up with five of the best late-night desserts you'll find around here.

These are bar/restaurants where you can get your sweet tooth satisfied, plus find one last drink to make the perfect pairing. The combo can taste like pure decadence, says Muddy Waters bar manager Paddy Whelan.

"If you want to pull the devil's tail, we have you covered," he told me.

Great. Now go forth and embrace gluttonous, delicious sin.


Late-night: After being reborn as a craft-beer haven with great bar food, the former coffee shop is one of LynLake's busiest hangouts (and a Doomtree clubhouse).

Dessert: The Guinness chocolate ginger cake is a gooey slab of sweetness soaking in butter rum raisin sauce and topped with ginger whipped cream. $6.

Pair it: For ultimate creaminess, get the Tallgrass Buffalo Sweat milk stout.

Serving till: 1:30 a.m. daily.

Find it: 2933 Lyndale Av S., Mpls. 612-872-2232.


Late-night: Chef Steven Brown's slice of Greenwich Village has turned quiet Linden Hills into the place to be after dark.

Dessert: The pot de crème is like the restaurant itself -- small package, huge flavor. Zoe Francois' recipe is silky butterscotch balanced with the slight bitterness of crème fraîche. $5.

Pair it: Stay on the bitter track and go for a Fulton Sweet Child of Vine or any other IPA (there are 21 well-curated taps).

Serving till: 1 a.m. daily.

Find it: 2726 W. 43rd St., Mpls. 612-354-2806.


Late-night: For their first venture into downtown St. Paul, the 331 Club owners have mixed Northeast attitude with some Euro flavor.

Dessert: When in Amsterdam, you gotta order the "pot brownie," right? Moist and rich, you'll get high off the slathering of caramel. It's baked with sage and is served in a cast-iron pot. $5.

Pair it: The intense chocolate matches nicely with the stronger Belgian beers on the large draft list.

Serving till: 1:30 a.m. daily.

Find it: 6 W. 6th St., St. Paul. 612-285-3112.


Late-night: The new Eli's is giving the Bulldog N.E. a run for its money when it comes to munching past midnight on E. Hennepin.

Dessert: The banana cream pie has white chocolate baked into the crust. It's topped with sugar-covered banana slices that are torched like crème brulée. $6.

Pair it: With its faint banana notes, I suggest the Boom Island Hoodoo, a Belgian-style dubbel brewed a couple miles away in north Minneapolis.

Serving till: 1 a.m. daily.

Find it: 815 E. Hennepin Av., Mpls. 612-331-0031.


Late-night: It's the king of late-night dining in downtown Minneapolis for three reasons: top-notch service, cozy setting and James Beard winner Isaac Becker.

Dessert: The butterscotch budino is amazing. But for absolute decadence, order the tres leches cake. It's a life raft of moistness, floating in a pool of sweetened condensed milk. $8. (On second thought, maybe you should just order both.)

Pair it: Bartender John Swardson suggests the Taylor Fladgate 10-year Tawny port.

Serving till: 1 a.m. Fri.-Sat (midnight Mon.-Thu.).

Find it: 112 N. 3rd St., Mpls. 612-343-7696.