You know the apres-meal drill when you dine out. The server asks whether you would care to see the dessert menu. More often than not, your tablemates demur by dramatically holding one hand to their bloated stomachs, holding up their other hand as if to ward off any incoming crème brulee, and saying that they are stuffed and couldn't possibly eat any more. You reluctantly agree with the consensus, but in the back of your mind you're thinking, "Mmm, dessert. Bring it on!"

The three-course, prix-fixe meals served at participating Dine Out Boston restaurants free you from the dessert-denying rigmarole. Sweet endings are part of the deal, and by golly, you will bring it on. With that in mind, let's take a peek at what some chefs have whipped up for the final course at their eateries, shall we?

  • Grotto in Beacon Hill will mix sweet and sour notes and a variety of textures with its heavenly sounding panna cotta with lemon, raspberry sauce, crispy pizzelle, and aged balsamic.
  • T.W. Food in Cambridge will also temper one of its sweet desserts with other complex flavors by serving rhubarb and grapefruit sorbets with a black sesame-cilantro broth.
  • Executive chef Robert Sisca at Bistro du Midi in the Back Bay will combine a fruity apricot clafoutis (tart) with rich buttermilk ice cream.
  • Dessert lovers may find the offerings at Max Brenner - Chocolate by the Bald Man in the Back Bay particularly intriguing. Meal cappers include milk, dark, or white chocolate fondue with strawberries and bananas for dipping or assorted dark chocolate bonbons. But the chocoholic-friendly establishment will also have accompaniments such as chocolate martinis and spicy hot chocolate available.

Mmm, dessert. Bring it on! Tablemates be damned. Dine Out Boston kicks off Sunday, March 16.

Photo: Max Brenner - Chocolate by the Bald Man