Long-time readers of this dessert blog will know that we have moaned on quite a few previous occasions that many a restaurant in New York, overwhelmingly fail…and fail tremendously… at executing memorable dessert epilogues to an otherwise wonderful meal. An uninspired plate of cookies, a stale slice of cake or a careless plop of ice cream does not constitute a proper dessert in a restaurant. It’s a tragedy that leaves these Dessert Correspondents especially, in a bamboozled state. Why the anti-climax?! 😦 In this volume of “NYC’s Best Restaurant Desserts,” we feature two restaurants that specialize in particularly decadent desserts, because well…this has been quite a year, eh? Nothing better to wipe away those bad memories than with multiple courses of desserts 😛
- Dessert destination: Hawksmoor, Gramercy/Flatiron, Manhattan.
- Budget: $$$-$$$$.
- Short and sweet story: Hailing from London, Hawksmoor is a steakhouse pulsating with people, noise and a menu chock full of hearty meat and excellent sweets. That dessert menu is one of the longest we have seen in a while, and we have gone back twice just for dessert alone. The “Sticky Toffee Pudding” ($14) is a mainstay on the menu, as is the ultra-rich, ultra-dark chocolate extravangaza that is the “Grand Rocher” ($18). The other desserts change seasonally, and we have had a strawberry meringue ball that makes for a lovely light end to a heavy meal, a blueberry cheesecake with the most spellbinding blueberry sorbet, and a silky custard tart.
Gage & Tollner
- Dessert destination: Gage & Tollner, Downtown Brookyln.
- Budget: $$$-$$$$.
- Short and sweet story: Gage & Tollner is an oddly situated restaurant — located on the main thoroughfare of downtown Brooklyn, it plays neighbours to empty shopfronts, discount stores, and vagabonds milling about in a haze of their own minds. Yet inside, it is resplendently furnished in a way that evokes the Art Nouveau period, all glittering mirrors and rich dark woods. If you can overlook its odd location, Gage & Tollner beckons with generous-sized American-English-French food fare. Don’t miss the fried chicken. And that dessert menu, oh my goodness…we have gone back again and again for the “Baked Alaska” ($26), a fire-licked mound of vanilla, mint, and dark chocolate ice cream, and roasted pineapple and grape embedded within. Our second favourite dessert would have to be the “Coconut Layer Cake” ($14) embellished with cherries. The coconut is almost second fiddle to the lime tones here. If you are after something more savoury, the “Chevre Cheesecake” ($14) is a good bet. You will need to ensure to drizzle some of that blackberry sauce and sweetened plum to counter the slightly chalky mouthfeel.