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Birthday cake for Manhattan Concierge type

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I have been put in charge of buying a birthday cake for a women in my office who an best be described as a social secretary/concierge/envoy to Manhattan. Many of you know the type -- she is single and fabulous and always out. Always has advice -- really good advice -- on where to get a haircut, a perfect eyebrow arch, the perfect black pants (on sale), and, of course, food. She is definitely on top of things in terms of trends, but she knows good food, too. She just sent me to Sarge's for chicken in a pot soup for my sick kids (fabulous!) So now I have to get her a cake. Please tell me what is wonderful. We are near Flatiron, but I am willing to travel a little (I'm not schlepping to Harlem or anything.) I live in Park Slope, so some nearby Brooklyn neighborhoods would also be an option.

Thank you in advance!!!

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  1. How about cheesecake from Junior's? It's a NY institution, the cake tastes terrific, and they have a location in Grand Central. If she likes Sarge's... I'm just sayin. Might be more impressive than Magnolia/Crumbs/Red Hens etc.

    1. Or, if you want something more unusual (and equally homey), perhaps a cake from Momofuku Milk Bar.

      But for me, the birthday cake that never fails is the Concord Chocolate Cake from Soutine in the Upper West Side - chocolate dacquoise and chocolate mousse. It is amazing.

      1 Reply
      1. re: fm1963

        I was just going to say that. Second MM.
        In Bklyn, there's Sweet Melissa.


      2. Don't know it personally, but a friend just rec'd Black Hound Bakery at 2nd Ave & 11th Street. Said he'd gotten a fabulous cake for a friend's b'day and since he's a wonderful cook on his own, I trust his recs.

        1. Does it have to be a cake?
          What about the delicious French macaroons from
          Madeleine Patisserie
          132 W 23rd St
          (between 7th Ave & Avenue Of The Americas)
          New York, NY 10011
          (212) 243-2757

          OUTSTANDING!!!!!!! and such pretty colors

            1. bouchon bakery

              had a cake from bouchon for my birthday. 6 months later people still talk about it. good luck

              1. The Mille Crepe Cake from Lady M.

                4 Replies
                  1. re: mahler5

                    I love that cake! They serve it at Keen's.

                    You can also try Crumbs for a nice cake

                    1. re: stephaniec25

                      Crumbs cakes are horrible and would not impress. You'll see many negative reviews on this site.

                    2. re: mahler5

                      this isn't hard to make yourself, especially if you have two same sized crepe pans ( ok I admit it - a leftover from the 70's when crepes were very chic, they had to be de-rusted). Not every crepe has to be perfect - you can bury your mistakes mid cake. Recipe on web but I added orange liqueur ( Mandarine not as sweet as the others) to both batter and pastry cream. But now Lady M has a coffee version which I need an excuse to try.

                    3. For something good yet inexpensive, Financier with several locations all downtown but they will open in midtown soon. www.financierpastries.com. Even Mangia (have you tried the dulce de leche) makes good cakes too. Or the chocolate bee cake from Black Hound.

                      1. Anytime I need to order cupcakes or a special occasion cake, I order from www.ninecakes.com. They have unique flavors! Recently, I attended a small dinner party where some of the guests were from Sweden. These cupcakes were a big hit!

                        1. Check out Ceci Cela on Spring St. They have lovely cakes.

                          But I think the best cakes to be found in NYC are at Cafe Sabarsky - and yes, you can order a whole one. There simply isn't better baking happening in NYC now. Traditional European baking at its finest.