HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >

Discussion

Who is making the best restaurant desserts in New York now?

  • 26
  • Share

Need a few suggestions of worthwhile places to go for dessert - restaurant-type desserts, not cupcakes, not diners, etc. Thanks.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. If you're looking for places that specialize in desserts you could check out Chikalicious or Spot Dessert Bar. Neither are restaurants per se, but offer an array of composed desserts (instead of cupcakes, etc.). Chikalicious does a dessert prix fixe (amuses, entree, petit fours) and offers wine pairings. Have been twice and really enjoy Chika's Fromage Blanc Floating Island Cheese Cake, its light at a cloud and not too sweet.

    Spot dessert bar does Asian-themed desserts from Pichet Ong. In addition to some interesting ice cream flavors and cupcakes, they also offer dessert tasting tapas. In particular, I really like their Yuzu Eskimo, and White Miso Semifreddo.

    If those sound too exotic for your tastes, I think Karen Demasco puts out some great desserts at Locanda Verde (Maple Budino), Michael Laiskonis and his famous "egg," Johnny Iuzzini's famous 4-plays are very good.

    I loved the creative desserts of Alex Stupak, formerly at WD 50, but he just left, though, I've sampled some of the sous chef's desserts during a recent 5 course dessert tasting less than a month ago.

    People seem to feel strongly one way or the other about Momofuku Milk Bar, and I'd also suggest that if you like aggressive (salt/sugar) in your desserts. Hope some of these suggestions are helpful.

    -----
    Locanda Verde
    377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

    Spot Dessert Bar
    13 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003

    Momofuku Milk Bar
    15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

    2 Replies
    1. re: TheDegustationAsian

      These are good but very familiar suggestions. I'm hoping to find something newer, off the beaten path, a recent discovery. A diamond in the rough, perhaps?

      1. re: JMinNYC

        If you want new, high end, composed, modern desserts, they're most likely going to be coming from an upscale restaurant. I'm not sure there have really been that many high end openings in the last year, you know?

        I do think that April Bloomfield's desserts and the cookie plate at Torrisi are notable out of restaurants that have opened in the last year or so.

        It appears that Nicole Kaplan is staying out of the restaurant business at the moment by teaching at ICE. I hope she returns at some point. Seems like Sam Mason is also perfectly content running a bar in Brooklyn rather than creating desserts.

    2. I've been super-SUPER impressed with all the desserts I've had at wd-50, and their 3- and 5-course dessert tastings are really reasonable at $38 and $48.

      I know everyone knows about wd-50, but I'm not sure you'd think of it specifically for dessert.

      1 Reply
      1. re: plumpdumpling

        FYI, wd~50's pastry chef, Alex Stupak, just left the restaurant. His last service was this weekend. I wholeheartedly agree that his desserts were excellent. Often the star of the meal.

        I have not been since he left nor have I read any reports. I did hear that Wylie was promoting a sous-chef to pastry chef. I suspect that for awhile the desserts will remain roughly the same, and I can't imagine that execution would slip much. The real test is where things go in the coming months.

      2. Your post reminds me I haven't had many surprising, memorable desserts . . .

        Falai. The passion fruit souffle is an enduring favorite.

        http://falainyc.com/falai/

        Aldea's little dreams and brioche.

        http://aldearestaurant.com/pdf/AldeaD...

        Rayuela's Crema de Requeson did not sound appealing but was different.

        http://www.rayuelanyc.com/dessert.htm

        -----
        Falai
        68 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002

        1 Reply
        1. re: financialdistrictresident

          I had a mandarin souffle at The Mark by Jean-Georges and a green tea souffle at Tribecafe that made me CRAVE not-chocolate souffles. Must try this passion fruit one!

        2. In my opinion, the best pastry chefs are:

          - Michael Laiskonis at Le Bernardin.
          - Marc Aumont at The Modern.
          - Heather Bertinetti at Alto and Convivio.
          - Robert Truitt at Ai Fiori (formerly at Corton).

          -----
          Le Bernardin
          155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019

          Convivio
          45 Tudor City Place, New York, NY 10017

          Corton
          239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

          Ai Fiori
          400 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018

          3 Replies
          1. re: H Manning

            this, especially laiskonis and aumont

            1. re: H Manning

              I have to disagree with you about Truitt -- at least, from the experiences I've had with his desserts. The first time we went to Corton, we did the tasting menu, and the two desserts we had were horrible! The second time we went, another tasting menu and the desserts were better but not anything that would make me consider him one of the best pastry chefs in the city.

              I have not been to Ai Fiori. It's hard to tell from the description on the website, but since the cuisine is totally different from Corton's, i.e., Italian vs. very creative contemporary French, I'm guessing the style of Truitt's desserts are different as well and, hopefully, far more tasty.

              http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

              1. re: H Manning

                The Modern has some of the BEST desserts I've EVER had anywhere. We go to the Bar Room just for desserts often.

              2. I think Michael Laiskonis is clearly the best pastry chef in the city, but you can't stop by Le Bernardin just for dessert.

                Alex Stupak, as noted above, has recently left wd~50. His dessert tasting menu there was inventive and accomplished.

                Dominque Ansel (Daniel) is very talented, as is Brooks Headley (Del Posto). Of course, Johnny Iuzzini is very prominent, but I haven't been really impressed by the desserts at Jean Georges recently.

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

                Le Bernardin
                155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019

                3 Replies
                1. re: hcbk0702

                  Why not? Do they have a bar? Will they serve dessert there? We went to Falai after a disappointing meal at Allen & Delancey (RIP) . . . We've also gone to Aureole and had dessert and espresso or a cheese course at the bar.

                  1. re: financialdistrictresident

                    Le Bernardin does have a bar, serving the full prix fixe menu and the tasting menus. However, no à la carte.

                    -----
                    Le Bernardin
                    155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019

                    1. re: hcbk0702

                      Thanks, hcbk0702. How sad . . .

                2. At Park Avenue Winter:

                  "The latest work of the performance artist Marina Abramovic... may be her most ephemeral. It’s Volano Flambé, a dessert prepared by Kevin Lasko, the chef at the seasonally changing Park Avenue Winter. 'You receive this dessert in front of you and it’s kind of a mystery,' Ms. Abramovic said. Its core of dark chocolate ice cream is covered with meringue, decorated with gold leaf and a swirl of spun sugar, bedded on chocolate cookie crumbs and flambéed with rum. The artist’s booklet of off-beat recipes, 'Spirit Cooking,' and an MP3 player with a talk by her accompany the dessert. It’s one of several artist collaborations the restaurant has organized with Creative Time, a nonprofit group.

                  Volano Flambé is $20 through March 20 at Park Avenue Winter, 100 East 63rd Street..."

                  (click on the link for a picture of the dessert)
                  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/12/din...

                  Hmm, has anyone tried it?

                  -----
                  Park Avenue Cafe
                  100 E 63rd St, New York, NY 10021

                  1. The dessert menu at Quattro Trump Soho is great. The Best bomboloni in town, I tried the gianduja semifreddo with torrone ice cream excellent; the meyer lemon napoleon with mandarin sorbet, basil syrup and candied kumquat is delicious and pretty. Very Nice presentation and decoration. I was surprised by the quality and presentation of desserts, my favorite restaurant for desserts. I think the pastry chef is Antonio Bachour.

                    My other restaurant for dessert is Ai Fiori, pastry chef Robert Truitt are great. The Lemon Vacherin with Basil foam is great .

                    Gotham Bar and Grill desserts are always excellent. Pastry chef Deborah Racicot's desserts are amazing.

                    Adour Restaurant pastry chef Sandro Micheli is other great restaurant for dessert.

                    -----
                    Gotham Bar and Grill
                    12 East 12th Street, New York, NY 10003

                    Quattro
                    246 Spring St, New York, NY 10013

                    Ai Fiori
                    400 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: bbtt

                      I agree, the desserts are delicious and beautiful presentation at Quattro Gastronomia Italiana. Food is average but the desserts are very creative and tasty. Do not know who is the pastry chef but should be very good. I recommend the bomboloni, semifreddo and torrone panna cotta. All Chef Boulud restaurant's dessert are exceptionally excellent. Another restaurant with very good desserts is Eleven Maddison Park, Gotham Bar and Grill, Gramercy Taven, WD-50 and Le Bernardin.

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

                      Le Bernardin
                      155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019

                      Gotham Bar and Grill
                      12 East 12th Street, New York, NY 10003

                      Quattro
                      246 Spring St, New York, NY 10013

                    2. I have had some superb desserts at Oceana, right up there with the very top restaurants.

                      1. Great suggestions, some I didn't see that I like are Aquavit (artic circle), Balthazaar, Babbo, the Bar Room Modern, Craft, Convivio, Degustation,

                        -----
                        Babbo
                        110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

                        Convivio
                        45 Tudor City Place, New York, NY 10017

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: daffyduck

                          What are the great desserts at Balthazar? I had very good Tarte Tatin at Pastis recently, but while Tarte Tatin is a great classic dessert that requires skill to make well, it's not similar to creative composed desserts with three or four components.

                          1. re: Pan

                            The profiterole is great. Not creative or refined, but really good dessert comfort food.

                            1. re: Pan

                              i like their tarts and profiteroles (i also like Balthazaar's apple cinnamon pancakes, but that's brunch). they aren't very creative but i think they're well executed. Craft doesn't have very creative desserts either but I think they are deliciouss.

                              1. re: daffyduck

                                Thanks for the replies, you two. I'll keep this in mind for the next time I'm at Balthazar.

                          2. After the positive comments about the desserts at Quattro Trump Soho, I went this weekend and I have to admit that the desserts were sensational and delicious. First, very good presentation, the bombolonis were out of control, the gianduja semifredo was great, lemon napoleon with mandarin sorbet was amazing light and delicious. I was skeptical to believe that the desserts were good at Quattro but I have to admit that it's worth going to eat dessert in Quattro. When I got the bill the server sent a plate of Italian cookies and chocolate that was the finishing touch. Bravo for the pastry chef and the FOH staff.

                            -----
                            Quattro
                            246 Spring St, New York, NY 10013

                            1. Bombolonis in Quattro Trump Soho are the best in town, I had the opportunity to visit during restaurant week and desserts are some of the best I've tasted in restaurants visited during restaurant week. I love Eleven Madison Park desserts, "the red velvet" is out of league, Gotham Bar and Grill always have some of the best desserts menu in the city.

                              -----
                              Eleven Madison Park
                              11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

                              Gotham Bar and Grill
                              12 East 12th Street, New York, NY 10003

                              Quattro
                              246 Spring St, New York, NY 10013