Why Not Start with Dessert First?

Vessel Restaurant, Kona Kai

My favorite part of dining out is ordering dessert but by the time I try a few things on the menu, I never have enough room to finish it. Vessel Restaurant at Kona Kai Resort & Marina is known for its regional, coastal fare and unique cocktails but since I wasn’t ordering any of their signature dishes, I decided to start with the dessert, assuring I had room for my favorite part and then going back to the beginning with appetizers and a main course. Why not start with the dessert first when it’s my favorite part? Besides, I was on vacation and I was there to relax. I was going to make it all about my favorite things. 

I gave the waitress a heads up about my plan so there was no confusion about when the dessert should come. I ordered the Kona Brownie with caramelized banana, coconut caramel fudge, and vanilla ice cream. When she delivered the plate, I was so excited about my decision. I was going to have lots of room for all of the deliciousness that was on the table.

Brownie Dessert at Vessel

After considering licking the plate, I was ready to order an appetizer; knowing that regardless of what everything tastes like from here on out, I was already satisfied. It was a fun way to go about dinner.

Darren, Athena, and I shared a Charcuterie and Cheese Board with grilled crostini and a Wedge B.L.T Salad with sugar braised bacon and jalapeno ranch. Athena was as excited about the cheese board as I was about the dessert. She would live in cheese if I’d allow it. The biggest surprise, though, was the B.L.T. salad. The usual combination with a unique flare was scrumptious. Maybe I should have asked for that sugary bacon to be brought out with the dessert. It was sinful.

Starters at Vessel

I know at this point you’re wondering if I still ordered a main dish and the answer is yes and I ate it all too. Vacation remember? I ordered the New York Steak with arugula and chimichurri and Darren ordered the Seared Tuna. We figured if we were having everything we wanted and in the order we wanted it, we’d let Athena have her favorite as well so she had a big bowl of mac and cheese. She was so anxious to eat it that I didn’t even take a photo before she had her hand in the bowl.

Dinner at Vessel

Dinner at Vessel

Mac and Cheese at vessel Restaurant, San Diego

It shouldn’t be unusual that we ordered dessert first. If you’re going to have it at some point during the meal then I don’t really see the difference, except you can be certain you’ll have room to fit it all in. I know it’s important to have a healthy lifestyle with smart food choices but every once and a while we like to be like kids again and eat whatever we want.

43 thoughts on “Why Not Start with Dessert First?

  1. Dessert first is ALWAYS a good idea!!!! Get the sweets out of the way that keep you hungry for the proteins. That seared tuna looks ridiculous! So excited that we have a fresh tuna steak in the ridge right now for tomorrow. 🙂 Happy traveling, my friend! Thanks for sharing


  2. You’ve read my mind…I confound waitpersons by requesting the “dessert menu first.” After all, how else am I going to know how much to leave room for? Thanks for the wonderful blog!


  3. WoW! I actually don’t eat dessert. I reckon my sweet tooth fell out about age 17. But that meat looks good enough to….. well, you get the idea. 😉

    AND I love tipping the natural order of thing on its head. When I spent two months in the USA in 1991, I was fascinated by the concept of just having a salad on its own before getting down to the main meal.

    So let anarchy rule and get your ‘sweets’ (old Australian term for dessert) on first and finish up with the bread roll. Rock on!


  4. oh my. i’m salivating already. what a great way to start a meal, dessert first! i always look at the dessert menu first to help me decide what to order for the main course. if i want dessert, i would have a lighter choice for appetizer and main course. but if time allows, i would go to a different place for dessert. this way i get to go to at least two different places for a meal 🙂


  5. I often ate dessert first when I was camping only using one pot … because cutard-flavoured soup tastes better than soup-flavoured custard. Especially if I made curry in between! 😀


  6. Though I am not very excited by your meal choices (no chocolate for me…), I like your approach a lot, especially the idea that there should be no pre-defined eating order. Hardly thinkable in old-fashioned France, though… I shall try it some day, and let you know whether I could manage it…


  7. Whoa . . . I’ve never thought of meals that way. I stick to the general set up of meals, but now that I think about it, it would be fun to break the unspoken rule a bit! Mmmm . . . dessert, BLT (YUM :D) and roast beef with eggs. Bon appetit!


  8. I actually have a draft in my blog folder that’s got this exact title… a little different post, so far (it’s half written) but same title! My daughter and I went on a vacation once to Montreal, to see the traveling Monet exhibit. We were there for 4 nights, and we had dessert for dinner every night! It was the highlight of the trip for her. 😉


  9. I was recently talking to a friend who mom created a once a month, dessert-first dinner night when he was a kid. I was so excited about it as an adult that I think as a kid it would have been better than Christmas! I will definitely be following in your footsteps soon and giving it a try 🙂


  10. Yummmy pictures! And a wonderful thought. A few times when we’ve been too full for dessert I’ve decided we should only have the appetizer and dessert next time. And next time I forget. But dessert first? That’s something I can remember!!!


  11. I’ve often thought about having dessert first. By the time I’ve eaten my meal, there is never room for the luscious cakes and pies and assorted goodies. When I was much younger, I was know for eating a desert for my lunch. Maybe I’ll try that again.


  12. I have the same problem too! What a great idea, I’m going to do this next time we go out because often I am way too full to enjoy something sweet at the end of my meal.


  13. I spent some time with an herbalist who suggested people eat their dessert first, vegetables last and anything else in between. He said it had to do with what digested faster and what needed more time. There was more explanation that made a lot of sense but this was years ago and I forgot. Sorry! 😉 Still, your article reminded me of it. And with the sugary food digesting faster it makes sense you still had room for the rest of the food. Where as the normal main course would take longer to digest making one feel fuller and not have room for desert.


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