Got a sweet tooth? Then rejoice! Midtown has a new dessert bar with the opening of HM Dessert Lounge.
Fran and Casscius Mosley turned their passion for desserts into a career, opening HM Dessert Lounge last fall on Madison, between Overton Square and the Medical Center, about a block west and across the street from Minglewood Hall. HM is a small, but inviting, place, decorated in a contemporary Parisian theme. Cool white, purple and black is the backdrop for the elegant space with Eiffel Tower memorabilia and works by local artists adorning the walls. There are groupings of lounge chairs, a few intimate tables and a long, elevated central table with comfortable stools, perfect for a big group. It’s a natural spot for a committee meeting or book club; you’ll want to call ahead to reserve that table for your group.
The focus of this place is definitely dessert, but HM also serves meals at lunch, and offers a Saturday brunch, too. You’ll find different lunch selections daily, so when a friend and I visited on a Thursday, I chose salisbury steak and she selected baked chicken. There are side dishes, as well, and for the $10 price, you can choose “any or all,” which is a choice I like!
We both opted for all the sides, so we had full plates featuring our main entree, plus creamy mashed potatoes and gravy; lightly sweet, chunky candied yams; rich, herb-y cornbread dressing; macaroni and cheese; and collards cooked until just crisp and tender. The rich and peppery gravy made the salisbury steak, and the chicken was well seasoned and tender. It made for a big meal on its own, but we just couldn’t go without dessert.
My dining companion was very happy with her delightful Fru Fru Fransway ($7), which features rich pineapple pound cake topped with chopped fruit all served in a martini glass. I went for the signature sweet potato brownie ($6.50), deep with sweet potato and spices and drizzled with caramel sauce.
I had visited HM Dessert Lounge before at night, when only desserts are served. During that visit, two friends and I split a sampler platter of four desserts ($24), which was a perfect choice. Decadent Chocolate Temptation was the early winner, but it was hard to choose between that, the German chocolate cake, crumbly peach cobbler and a deliciously modern take on the classic Southern butter roll.
Two of us placed to-go orders, as well, and as an extra treat, we were brought a spare slice of banana pudding cheesecake ($7), which is now at the top of my local desserts list. I’m not generally a banana fan, but this version of smooth and creamy cheesecake with a layer of caramel and banana on a vanilla wafer crust is a delight. It’s a nightly special that I hope they add to the permanent rotation.
Saturday’s Southern brunch buffet is $20, and offers a selection of traditional Southern favorites, as well as setups for mimosas, if you want to bring your own Champagne. While HM doesn’t currently sell alcohol, guests are welcome to BYO — and there’s no corkage fee.
HM has a few kinks to work out — a wine list would be nice, and maybe a coffee bar, and it might be nice to have a few savory small plates at night. But the desserts at HM are truly special, and I am already planning to book the communal table for a book club. Make plans and taste for yourself!
HM Dessert Lounge is located at 1586 Madison Ave., Memphis, TN 38104. Learn more at (901) 290-2099. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.