The Riggsby’s Pot Brownie Sundae Will Satisfy Your Munchies

The dish: Pot Brownie Sundae. The place: The Riggsby. The reason: It’s a dessert chocoholics should just say yes to.

The Riggsby pastry chef Alex Levin’s multi-textured brownie sundae. (No, it’s not made with that kind of pot.) Photograph by Scott Suchman

Dessert whiz Alex Levin has been busy transforming the sweets at all of Michael Schlow’s eateries—including Tico, Alta Strada, Conosci, and Casolare—since joining forces with the prolific restaurateur earlier this year. Our latest addiction: his Pot Brownie Sundae served in a cast-iron skillet (pot, get it?) at the Riggsby in Dupont Circle (1731 New Hampshire Ave., NW; 202-787-1500).

Levin’s treats tend to offer delightful contrasts in texture (creamy, crunchy) and temperature (baked, frozen)—attributes fully on display in this dessert for two.

• Levin makes brownie batter with rich Valrhona chocolate, which is piped into cast-iron skillets before the start of service. Inside is a rich, frozen hazelnut ganache that liquefies into a molten center when each brownie is baked to order.

• The warm cake is crowned with house-made vanilla and chocolate gelato—though you can swap in seasonal flavors. The toppings represent what a discerning pastry chef with the munchies might crave: toffee covered in dark chocolate and sea salt, hazelnut brittle, warm fudge, Chantilly cream.

• A sundae may seem like a simple dessert, but Levin layers ingredients for harmonious flavors. The same hazelnut is used in the brittle and ganache. Ditto the chocolate in the brownie, toffee, and gelato. “There’s no randomness—it’s very thought out,” Levin says. “A true stoner might think, ‘I’m going to get a brownie and put it in the bowl and get some Häagen-Dazs and peanut M&M’s.’ This is not like that.”

This article appears in the October 2017 issue of Washingtonian.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.