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Sugar-shock foodography: Crave Dessert Bar & Lounge opens in the Spire

Visions of sugarplums danced in their heads, while cakes...and sticky toffee pudding...and croissants drizzled with chocolate made eyes wide at yesterday's opening of

Crave Dessert Bar & Lounge

, a sultry sugar house that's now swelling bellies with sweets in the Spire.

The dessert bar, the lovechild of Allen Milham and his business partner Darrell Naughton, the two of whom also own Organic Pizza Company, an outpost of which is conveniently located next door, displays decadence at every turn, the glass cases brimming with everything from a twenty-layer cake to apple crisps to diabolically addictive doughnut holes powdered with vanilla. There are savory cravings, too -- salumi from Il Mondo Vecchio and cheeses from the Cheese Importers Warehouse -- an espresso bar that pumps out a half-dozen hot chocolate drinks, cappuccino, NOVO java and lattes, not to mention a canvas of wines, ports, beers and cocktails, including one that's aptly named "Chocolate Kisses."

I stopped in late last week, during a blustery, frigid night, to sample the indulgences and sip sexy cocktails, and captured some of the the sugar highs on camera, the visuals of which are on the next page.

Twenty-layer, flourless chocolate cake with peanut butter mousse. Vanilla-dusted doughnuts paired with pomegranate compote. White chocolate Ice cream and peppermint bark. Pastry striped with chocolate. Chocolate Kisses cocktail concocted with Old Overholt rye whiskey, fresh-squeezed lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil chocolate balsamic and raspberries.

Crave is open Monday through Thursday from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 6:30 a.m. to midnight; and Sunday from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more info, call 303-586-4199.

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