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High-quality desserts in a fancy atmosphere

Hi everyone!
I'm looking for recommendations for where to take my 17-year-old sister out for birthday desserts in the late evening next month. She's from a small town and wants to go somewhere that feels fancy and "New York." We are visualizing a restaurant atmosphere as opposed to bakery, but it would need to be a place that wouldn't mind if we don't order dinner or drinks. Our budget is around $50 for the two of us, including tax and tip, and we'll go anywhere in Manhattan. Would love to do the WD-50 dessert tasting, but that's probably out of our reach budget-wise. Any other suggestions for where to get some great desserts?
Thank you!

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WD-50
50 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

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  1. not sure by what you mean by fancy and "new york". the bar at keens is nice and their ice cream sundaes are alright and i heard good things about the red berry bible dessert there.
    you can also try chickalicious though it's not that fancy. some restaurants with desserts i like are babbo, balthazar, craft, locanda verde, and maialino. depending on the how late it is cafe sabarsky might be a good option too, the setting isn't fancy but i think a 17 yr old girl would like it and find it very cute.

    5 Replies
    1. re: daffyduck

      "Fancy and New York" was my sister's terminology, and I'm not quite sure what she means by it either! I thought I'd throw it out there to see if CH-ers had any ideas for a place to find desserts and atmosphere that she would not be able to find in her small town- ideas which you have provided plentifully! Thanks for your input.

      1. re: brighton312

        Cafe Sabarsky

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        Cafe Sabarsky
        1048 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028

        1. re: gutsofsteel

          Just checked their website. I'm putting Cafe Sabarsky on my list for my next New York trip. Looks awesome

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          Cafe Sabarsky
          1048 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028

          1. re: conniemcd

            Cafe Sabarsky by far. The atmosphere is very classy and NYC. It's my father's favorite place in the world and the desserts are wonderful.

            http://nyctastes.blogspot.com/search/...

            The desserts at Gramercy Tavern are wonderful as well. My two favorite spots in wonderful atmospheres.

            http://nyctastes.blogspot.com/2009/10...

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            Gramercy Tavern
            42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

            Cafe Sabarsky
            1048 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028

          2. re: gutsofsteel

            I second that! Just be sure it's open when you're there:
            Hours: Monday and Wednesday 9 am- 6 pm, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday 9 am-9 pm, Closed Tuesday

      2. I liked Keens, but I wasn't crazy about their ice cream sundae. I'll have to try that coffee cantata next time. Chikalicious and Kyotofu, IMO, are both cute and cozy dessert bars with nice ambiance and would be appropriate for this. I'm partial to Kyotofu, but she would have to like Asian-themed desserts without dairy.

        2 Replies
        1. re: uwsister

          ive tried the coffee cantata, imo it's good not great.

          1. re: uwsister

            Kyotofu's desserts also aren't very sweet.

          2. The board might kill me for this, but Cafe Lalo and Serendipity III need to be mentioned here.

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            Cafe Lalo
            201 W 83rd St, New York, NY 10024

            4 Replies
            1. re: coasts

              Cafe Edgar > Cafe Lalo in UWS, IMO.

              I'll admit I have a morbid curiosity about Serendipity III, only because I love huge sundaes.

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              Cafe Lalo
              201 W 83rd St, New York, NY 10024

              1. re: uwsister

                i'll agree that Edgar's desserts are better, but the atmosphere at Lalo is more impressive.

                1. re: coasts

                  I cannot imagine how anybody could consider Edgar's or Cafe Lalo "fancy atmospheres."

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                  Cafe Lalo
                  201 W 83rd St, New York, NY 10024

                  1. re: gutsofsteel

                    Yeah, but the OP's original idea was wd-50. So I don't think she means "fancy" as in, like how you're thinking fancy.

                    coasts - but you don't have to deal w/ tourists at Lalo! I'll admit I haven't even been in years.

            2. I really liked the desserts at The Modern Bar Room. Even though you can't see the sculpture garden from the bar room, I thought the room was very exciting and the atmosphere was cool. It's within your budget. The desserts there were much better than at Keens.

              1 Reply
              1. re: ChemWork

                Great rec! How did I forget? I love, love, LOVE the Bar Room at the Modern's desserts. They probably have the best desserts I've ever had at non-dessert bars. I totally second this.

              2. I think you can get dessert at the Daniel lounge.

                1. I'm not 100 percent sure but you might be able to get dessert at the bar at Jean George but I don't know if you're limited to the nougatine menu.

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                  Jean Georges
                  1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: daffyduck

                    The bar at Nougatine offers anything off Jean Georges menu-so I'm told when I inquired a few weeks ago.

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                    Jean Georges
                    1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

                    Nougatine
                    1 Central Park West, New York, NY 10023