The Rowe Inn and Pot de Crème

The Rowe Inn's Pot de Crème garnished with Yule Love It Violas
Most Americans associate their favorite summer chocolate tradition with bonfires and S’mores. Not so with the Bob and Margaret Radtke family. They think of The Rowe Inn and Pot de Crème.
When my friend Sue was a young Radtke, her dad drove the family north through the “teeny” town of Ellsworth to Torch Lake for vacation and camp. Rowe Inn was one of two gourmet restaurants in town, and they happened to have Pot de Crème on their menu.
It was an instant love match, a matter of fate. An unabashed chocaholic, Bob Radtke was crestfallen when the waitress set before him a thimble sized glass with a few spoonsful of rich, thick chocolate cream.
Sue laughed with fond memory. "A charming man, Dad begged for more. Mom wasn’t the least embarrassed because we all loved dessert."
While Sue spent her childhood summers at the Four Way Girls Camp on Torch Lake, her dad sustained a friendship with The Rowe’s owner and often held business meetings during lunch. They served his Pot de Crème in an oversized mug inscribed For Bob.
More than fifty years later, Sue bragged so about her father’s favorite chocolate dessert that I asked for the recipe. You see, I’m also an unabashed chocaholic. With ceremony and nostalgia, Sue held the recipe before me. At the top of the hand-written card were the words, “Serve in a bucket to Mr. Radtke.”
My sentiments exactly, although it may induce a chocolate coma if you don’t consume it with respect. “Savor every bite,” Sue said. “Serve it room temperature with a dollop of whipping cream.”
I garnish my Pot de Crème with red raspberries or currants, jewels on the smooth, dark surface. Small, edible flowers like violets, violas, or the diminutive daisy-like feverfew please the eye as well as the palate. It’s a simple dessert to prepare and never fails.
Dear Reader, a cook who’s fond of a good story, particularly one that perpetuates chocolate bliss, whenever I serve Pot de Crème, I associate Sue’s father with the delicious confection. A man who raised a beautiful family, a daughter who became my dear friend and fellow, unabashed chocaholic.
By the way, The Rowe is alive and well in Ellsworth. I don’t see Pot de Crème on their website menu, but if you’re in the area, stop in and say “Bob Radtke sent me” and see what develops. 
Meanwhile, here’s the recipe, a simple, elegant compliment to any meal, occasion, or season. Heaven forbid I deprive my fellow chocaholics of this pure Michigan delight.
Rowe Inn Pot de Crème
4 squares unsweetened bitter chocolate
1-cup sugar
pinch of salt
Melt above ingredients on low heat in double boiler and blend.
Add 1-cup heavy whipping cream, 3 beaten egg yolks and 1-teaspoon vanilla
Whisk until well blended and creamy
Pour into serving glasses and serve at room temperature, or sip it while warm around a bonfire.