desert...near central park?
I cracked up at first over the "desert". :) Aside from Grom, there's also an Emack & Bolio on Amsterdam between 78 & 79. If you want dessert other than ice cream, you could walk (all the way over) to Edgar's on 84th between Bway and West End. It's a sweet little place with pastries and pies and such. I like it much better than Cafe Lalo (featured in You've Got Mail and has gone way downhill ever since). Oh, and lest I forget, there's Beard Papa on Bway at 74th for amazing cream puffs.