I knew the cocktails at Barrio would be good; my saucy compadre Jessica had assured me of that. (I’m thinking fondly now of a brisk little number called the Diamondback, crafted of rye and yellow chartreuse.)

But the food? Waaaaaaaaay disappointing, alas, from a gummy chile relleno to terribly uneventful guacamole. We yawned our way through dinner…only to have our socks knocked off at dessert.

It’s called the dulce de leche creme brulee, and the flavor is that milky-sweet caramel The Tablehopper remembers from a childhood sweetened with MacIntosh Toffees and Eagle Brand Condensed Milk melted right in the can. Satin textured and topped with a crackling sugar lid, this dessert managed to cap an ordinary meal in an extraordinary way.

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