Tag Archives: dessert

NYC’s Best Steakhouse Desserts

Don’t worry. I’m not losing my balls and sprouting a vagina because I’m talking about dessert here. It’s just that I’ve come across a pack of five amazing sweet dishes during my meat escapades that I felt the need to share them with you all. These are the five best NYC steakhouse desserts I’ve ever tried, in no particular order.

Del Frisco’s Double Eagle

Yes, yes. Everyone knows how amazing the “off menu” lemon cake is here (on the right below). But the on menu butter cake is fucking obscene (on the left below).

I guarantee you’ve never tasted anything quite like it. Just trust me and order it. So good I forgot to take a pic of it by itself before I started destroying it.

It’s like a glorious cross between regular cake, buttery crumb cake and satisfying pound cake. The edges are crisp and the inside is soft.

Ruth’s Chris

Okay this is an odd fucker, but so good. Ruth’s Chris serves a sweet potato casserole dish as a side item for your meal. I generally hate sweet potatoes. Even the wanna be, knock off French fry version of sweet potatoes. But the trick here is to get it as dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.

Once you do that, you transform them into a sweet treat, much like candied yams (only better).

Delmonico’s Restaurant

The baked Alaska is really something to behold here.

They invented the fucking thing for fuck’s sake, so I guess it better be good. It involves walnut sponge cake, apricot compote, banana gelato and toasted Italian meringue. Eat it. This is a part of American history, and it’s delicious to boot.

The Capital Grille

This dessert is really what set me off and inspired me to write this list, because I was blown away by it. Coconut cream pie.

Whatever short cake or sugar cookie crust they’ve got on the bottom is like fucking crack. And the cream is so nice without being overpowering or too sweet. Awesome.

Ocean Prime

Carrot cake might be my favorite cake ever.

This is 10 layers of the shit, with the classic cream cheese frosting in between and on top, and garnished with a kick-you-in-the-ass pineapple sauce that you wouldn’t think makes any sense, but it works so well.

An honorable mention here would be Peter Luger’s strudel with copious amounts of schlag. I haven’t tried the strudel, but I can vouch for the schlag (bowl in background below).

So why does it get an honorable mention if I haven’t even tried it? I’ve heard great things about it from trusted sources, and, well, because I really do love the schlag. I could eat it by itself, spoonful after spoonful.

I guess we do owe Luger’s a bit of gratitude anyway. If it weren’t for Luger’s, the “American Steakhouse” concept might not exist here. Yes, Delmonico’s was the first restaurant in the country and it’s a WAY better steak joint now, but the Luger’s proprietors brought the idea of a “meat hall” over from their family traditions of Austria (Vienna), and that just wasn’t really here before then. So, thanks Pete. Nice work. Keep at it. You might eventually get the steaks right someday. Hayooooo!

Seed + Mill

When I was a kid, I used to eat halva like it was my job. It’s probably my absolute favorite sweet thing to eat aside from soft serve vanilla ice cream. Seed + Mill sells halva cakes, but they also have goat’s milk vanilla soft serve ice cream. That’s double whammy for me in the dessert world. So when my buddy Jay from The Dishelin Guide set up a little influencer gig there, I was all over it.

I started with some of that soft serve goat’s milk ice cream in a blue corn tortilla cone, topped with shredded halva and freshly made tahini (they make it right there on site, in front of you). Amazing! This stuff is going to get big. It’s rich and creamy, but not as overbearingly sweet as regular ice cream. The tahini and halva bring in just the right amount of sweetness as a topping.

Next up, the halva cakes. They’re all purely halva – nothing baked or anything like that – but the quality and available flavors are like nothing I’ve ever experienced.

White chocolate and raspberries:

Mixed chocolate:

70% dark chocolate swirl:

And, while I didn’t shoot them, also worth mentioning here are the lemon and white chocolate, peanut butter, pistachio and rose water varieties. I love this place, and can’t wait to go back for more.

SEED + MILL
Chelsea Market
409 W 15th St
New York, NY 10011

Grace Street

My and some fools stopped in this place after a night of KBBQ nearby. We tried some mochi, waffles with caramel and ice cream, and “shaved snow.”

Everything was great here, though admittedly a bit pricey. Luckily my buddy paid. Maybe that’s why he’s giving me the finger above.

GRACE STREET
17 W 32nd St
New York, NY 10001

David Burke at Bloomingdale’s

NOTE: THIS PLACE IS CLOSED

My wife picked up a Gilt City deal for David Burke’s joint at Bloomingdale’s. I noticed some nice looking sandwiches, a decent looking burger, and a hanger steak on the menu, so I was psyched to try it out.

Unfortunately, the special menu for the flash deal eliminated all of the things I was interested in trying: pastrami sandwich, French dip, burger, and hanger steak frites. But not to worry! This deal actually supplied us with a LOT of food, and, contrary to out last experience with a Burke joint (Fabrick), the food here was really good.

They start you with warm cheddar popovers. I can eat a basket full of them. Very tasty.

I ordered the grilled tofu Thai peanut salad to start (please don’t kill me). It was actually really good! It had an acidic pop to it from the various citrus and fish sauce additives, and good texture from the jicama and cabbage slaw.

My wife had the tomato soup, which was velvety smooth, topped with a Peter North -like splash of basil oil, and accompanied by a miniature grilled cheese sandwich.

For my entree, I had the grilled salmon.

It was cooked to a nice medium temperature, and it sat on a bed of slaw that was similar to my starter salad, only heavier on the slaw component as opposed to the lettuce. It also had a pop of cumin in it that altered the flavor profile a bit. The salmon skin had a great crisp to it as well.

My wife had chicken Milanese; breaded and fried tender chicken cutlet, topped with arugula and shaved Parmesan cheese, and garnished with grape tomatoes and lemon wedges.

There was a nice tomato-based sauce underneath too, but just the right amount so that nothing got soggy or smothered.

For dessert, I had this chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream. I usually don’t go for chocolate cakes, but this was delicious.

My wife had the sorbet with fresh fruit. Really nice, actually, when you mixed both desserts together for a bite.

If you can still find this deal online, I recommend it. While they severely limit the menu on you, what you do get is good quality and a lot of it. You’l leave full, and with a feeling that you got a good deal.

DAVID BURKE AT BLOOMINGDALES
1000 3rd Ave
New York, NY 10022

Via Quadronno

This joint is known for its incredible panini sandwiches and fresh Italian menu selections. I’m gonna get right down to business here, because me and a group of Instagram influencers tried a ton of items.

My favorite sandwich: La Madunina. This has prosciutto, fresh mozz, olive tapenade and tomato. Very simple but incredibly delicious.

Tentazione: prosciutto, smoked mozz, arugula, shrimp and sauce.

Americano: brie, fresh mozz, corn, arugula and tomatoes.

Bip-Bip: bresaola, goat cheese, shrimp, arugula and sauce.

Il Toast: boiled ham and melted fontina cheese.

Lo Spazzino: roast pork, arugula, provolone, red onion and capers.

They also do some open faced toast style brunch sandwiches as well. We tried the smoked salmon and crab meat, fresh mozz and tomato, and asparagus with cheese.

Speaking of asparagus, they also offer it in a salad form with lots of crab meat on top. Wow! That’s a serious portion.

And this veggie salad with tuna was so fresh and tasty.

The mussels were really nice too, served in a light but spicy tomato broth. Nicely executed.

The pesto pasta had a great flavor and was perfectly cooked.

As did the lasagna. I’m usually very hard on lasagne, because my mom made a killer lasagna. This was fantastic. The photo doesn’t do it justice. You need to see the layering.

I also had a steak. Surprise! The meat quality was indeed good (DeBragga), and the peppercorn sauce for the top was delicious. It’s also served on a bed of broccoli rabe, and with a side of roasted fingerling potatoes.

Enough photos of that? I think so. We also had dessert. Several tart pies, a wonderful tiramisu, some gelato and sorbets, and an assortment of Italian cookies.

And we tasted several coffee and hot chocolate selections that had awesome designs in the foam.

And a drink made with Prosecco, raspberry jam and St. Germain.

Definitely give this place a try. There’s also another location about 10 streets down from this one.

VIA QUADRONNO
1228 Madison Ave
New York, NY 10128

Piece of Velvet

My wife was invited to this little joint as an influencer to help promote their business.

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We were able to sample four different slices of “Piece of Velvet” cake, and in the future, there will be ice cream and waffles offered on the menu as well.

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Some cakes even have booze infused in them, like rum, bourbon, vodka and whiskey.

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Red Velvet: this is their signature cake. It was rich and flavorful.

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Pina Colada: This was my favorite of the four we tried. The pineapple and coconut flavors were very natural and tasty.

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Ciroc Coconut: They’ve soaked real coconut shavings in “Ciroc” vodka for three days.

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Blueberry Vanilla Bourbon: Self explanatory, and really delicious.

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Here’s a shot of my two favorites side by side:

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PIECE OF VELVET
101 MacDougal St
New York, NY 10012

Dessert Professional Magazine: Top 10 Chocolatiers

Dessert Professional Magazine held an event at ICE to honor the ten chocolatiers they recently named as the best in the country. This meant copious amounts of chocolates and along lasting sugar high for those of us that were tasting.

A few of the stand out items I tried were the candy bars, roguefort cheese, a squid ink, sesame, Vietnamese iced coffee, ghost pepper and pumpkin chocolates. In reality, everything was amazing. I mean we are talking about the country’s ten best chocolate purveyors, one of whom was the famous Jacques Torres. Take a look at all this chocolate!

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Via Vai

Located right at the end of the N/Q in Astoria is an amazing Italian joint called Via Vai (translation: Coming and Going).

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I was invited here for a free press dinner, but I can tell you honestly that this is some of the best Italian food around – especially the pizza. The flavors are not hidden with grated cheese or pepper on top at this place. You’re dealing with naked and natural dishes made from top quality ingredients. Everything comes to the table already nicely seasoned, and with great cooking technique there is no need for extra grated cheese or cracked pepper.

The first thing I noticed was that the staff can all speak Italian. In fact both people we met were from Italy. Valentina was from Genoa, and Manuel was from Rome. The crowd was good too; a full house by 7:30pm. Lots of neighborhood regulars were coming in, and the staff was eager to greet them. They even waved to people walking by on the streets – more neighborhood regulars that they know by name and sight. In fact the people next to us had clearly been there before, based on the conversation I overheard. They also spoke constantly about how great their pasta, shrimp and grilled veggies were. It seems like they had a great meal just like we did.

We started with some drinks: a Picus red wine, which was a nice blend of sangiovese and montepulciano. Very smooth. We also had a Staten Island hefeweizen from Flagship. It was the filtered wheat style: good flavor.

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The first thing that our lovely waitress Valentina brought to us was this plate of warm flatbread foccacia, which was like a pizza crust that was ever-so-lightly salted. It was served with olive oil that had a garlic clove and a rosemary sprig in it. Light. Perfect. I could eat this shit all day.

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Next up was a pizza, fresh from the brick oven:

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While I’m more of a traditional margherita pizza guy, this shit was so fucking good that I could see myself having this shit at least two or three times a week. A light, airy dough is made in house and allowed to rise for 48 hours. It gets crispy, soft, fluffy and absolutely perfect in terms of texture. This particular pie was topped with a fig marmalade, prosciutto, gorgonzola, truffle oil and arugula. This was Valentina’s favorite pizza on the menu, and Manuel told us that this is how he used to eat pizza in Rome.

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Next up was polpette (meatballs). The sauce was chunky and fresh, nicely seasoned. The balls were very soft, and made from all beef, which I like. Lots of times the pork, veal and beef mixtures can get too dense. I tend to be a picky meatball guy and I really liked these. I still like my mom’s better because she fries them in a pan first to give them a crispy crust before plopping them in the sauce – so you get crispy outside and soft inside.

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Then we got to try this really interesting gnocchi special. The purple color is from the beet and ricotta based pasta dough (all pasta is made fresh in house). The sauces on top were twofold: parmesan fondue porcini mushroom. The dish was then finished with some truffle oil and crushed hazelnuts. This was unique and very different, and stunningly gorgeous to see in person. They were like pasta bubble gum balls. I didn’t really taste any beet, but the flavor was really good.

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Last, we had some kickass desserts. The absolute best panna cotta I’ve ever had. It was insane. Realllllly smooth and creamy consistency. The texture was flawless. Not overcooked at all. It was like creme brulee but not as eggy, not too sweet.

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Last was tiramisu. This was super light and whipped, with cocoa sprinkled on top. There were thin layers of cake between the ricotta, and there was just a light hint of coffee flavor, which I appreciated (I’m not into heavy coffee flavors in dessert).

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Clean bathroom too – that is always important!

UPDATE 4/3/16

My wife and I came back here to try out their brunch/lunch options. They offer a great deal where you get two entrees/items and a dessert for $28. This is probably enough to split between two people, but my wife and I each did our own to maximize the items we wanted to try out.

Our “starters” were a spinach and egg pizza, and a spinach and asparagus crepe. The pizza was great, once again. The egg really brought home the breakfast feel, and Manuel even drizzled some truffle oil over the top to give it an earthy punch.

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The crepe was light and fluffy, and thicker than one might expect when hearing the word “crepe.” It was somewhere between an omelette and a crepe, I would say. It was covered with a light tomato sauce and filled with cheese, spinach and asparagus. Beautiful to look at, and even better to eat. This was a perfect brunch item.

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We tried two pasta dishes for the “entrees.” First was this bucatini carbonara. Bucatini, if you don’t know, is a thick spaghetti that has a hole through the center, like a straw. The sauce was nice and creamy without being too heavy. The portion size was great for the price, and the onion, pancetta and seasonings were all top notch.

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The other pasta dish was a rigatoni alla grecia, which was similar to the carbonara but without the creaminess. This ate much lighter, but both dishes contained perfectly cooked pasta that was just the right amount of al dente.

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By then we were full, so we brought some of the pasta home with us, but we couldn’t pass up on the dessert. We shared the panna cotta, which we knew that we loved from our earlier visit. I had forgotten how smooth and creamy this was. Just perfect. This time the plating was a bit nicer too, with some orange slices and pistachios.

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I highly recommend this place, especially for the pizza and pasta.

VIA VAI
31-09 23rd Ave.
New York, NY 11105

Frozen Sweet

This little ice cream joint serves up some interesting flavors like taro, Thai tea and green tea.

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They do this cool thing where they spread out the cream and ingredients on a cold table and then scrape up the ice cream in these cool log curls. Check it out:

We stopped in here with a gaggle of food bloggers and ordered up a few cups to sample among the crew. Here’s a shot of what the Thai tea looks like:

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As you can see, they offer panda and monkey cookies as toppings. They also have face emojis, like this one with the taro flavor:

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And last but not least, this flavor is vanilla with banana mixed in, and then a nice money-shot of sweetened condensed milk dripping down the panda’s face. Hashtag cummybear. This is the one that was being made in the video above.

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The ice cream here is light and not too sweet, which is nice because you can eat a bunch without feeling like you’re fucking yourself over.

FROZEN SWEET
184-186 Mulberry St
New York, NY 10013

Premium Sweets

After eating Bangladeshi food across the street, a group of us walked into this joint for dessert.

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The display case glowed with interesting shit I’d never tasted before.

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We tried several items, most of which had similar flavors (dense, yet sugary and moist quasi-cakes), but each was packaged and presented with different textures, colors, etc.

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The most interesting was this spherical thing that had smaller spherical things attached to it like sprinkles. In the middle was a pink colored paste of some kind. It tasted like a very light cheese cake.

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This actually tasted like sweet cheese in a creamy cold broth.

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But my favorite was this snaggle of deliciousness, which was essentially a honey-soaked funnel cake. It was crispy on the outside but juicy through and through. When biting down on it, the liquefied honey just oozed out like squeezing a dessert sponge. Yum!

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PREMIUM SWEETS
3714 73rd St
Jackson Heights, NY 11372