NYC’s Best Restaurant Desserts Series: Carne Mare, Koloman, Tán, Momoya Soho


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 blow the budget on a quartet of fabulous post-pandemic restaurants that remind us of how wonderful dining out in pre-pandemic NYC used to be.  

Carne Mare

  • ☑ Dessert destination: Carne Mare, South Street Seaport / Financial District, Manhattan.
  • ☑ Budget: $$$$.
  • ☑ Short and sweet story:  Carne Mare is one of those places you go to if: (i) you are dining with a corporate card, (ii) you want to spend, and/or (iii) you want to dress up and impress.  The crowd is a mix of corporates and bling, and the restaurant keeps up with the Joneses by being as upmarket and as extravagant as its patrons’ deep pockets.  Regarding the food, the sides are as worthy of your stomach space as the mains, I have never seen salad tossed sky-high with such gusto as the way it is done at Carne Mare, and while everyone talks about the “Gorgonzola-Cured Wagyu Striploin,” whichever cut of meat you choose, you can’t go wrong at Carne Mare.  As for dessert, there are two desserts you must not miss.  The first is the “Lemon Sorbet” ($10), which is imperative as a palate cleanser between steak and dessert.  And after you have sufficiently digested and cleansed, that “17 Layer Espresso Chocolate Cake” ($18) is like a 17-step stairway to heaven…


  • ☑ Dessert destination: Koloman, Gramercy/Flatiron, Manhattan.
  • ☑ Budget: $$$-$$$$.
  • ☑ Short and sweet story:  Located inside the Ace Hotel, Koloman offers a mature, semi-formal dining experience, with some of the best service you will encounter in NYC.  One part French, another part Austro-German, the food errs on the traditional and heavy side.  Come here for a hearty meal, not one where you are picking at flowers, leaves and foam.  And as crazy extravagant as it sounds, just as you would order the $100 duck tacos at Cosme, you have to get that close to $100 roast chicken from Koloman.  Never had chicken that moist before, even the breast portion.  And 3-4 people can eat it, by the way.  As for desserts, we have a soft spot for Viennese kaffehaus cakes, but there isn’t such a cake offering at Koloman.  Instead of cake, order the silken “Duck Egg Creme Brulee” ($15) which reminds us of the one at the now-defunct Augustine. A more unique dessert is the “Palatschinken” ($15),” with a honeycomb-maze appearance from delicate crepe curled around fromage blanc, and offset by a punchy grapefruit bay leaf sorbet.  


  • ☑ Dessert destination: Tan, Midtown Manhattan.
  • ☑ Budget: $$$-$$$$.
  • ☑ Short and sweet story: Tán is one of the most evocative restaurants that we have been to in a while.  In a small space draped in neutral linens, bordered by leafy tropical plants and illuminated by a warm golden light, it feels as though you are dining somewhere far away from the hustle and bustle of NYC.  With well-spaced tables, Tán makes for a beautiful date night or “nice dinner” restaurant.  Every single savoury share plate that we ordered was injected with distinct robust flavours, and the desserts…oh my…what an epilogue.  Embellished with a delicate chocolate leaf, the “Oxacan Chocolate Fondant” ($14) was a dream of dark chocolate, rich and decadent as expected.  Our hearts belong however to the dense “Yellow Corn Cake” ($14), laced with caramelized popcorn and pompope (a Mexican version of eggnog) and accompanied by a quenelle of dulce de leche ice cream. 

Momoya Soho

  • ☑ Dessert destination: Momoya Soho, Soho, Manhattan
  • ☑ Budget: $$$.
  • ☑ Short and sweet story:  There are as many Japanese restaurants in NYC as there are stars in the sky.  But what’s less common are “affordable but nice” Japanese restaurants, the type that’s several steps up from  take-away sushi boxes, but not as high-falutin as a Michelin omakase or kaiseki experience.  Momoya is one of such rare Japanese restaurant.  And it offers a very memorable, albeit expensive ($28), dessert parfait that can be shared between 2-4 persons.  Seasonally changing, the one pictured below  featured a layered assortment consisting of “White Wine Gelée, Ginger White Chocolate Ice Cream, Clementine Sorbet, Lemon Verbena Espuma, Apricot Shiratama, Rare Cheesecake, Genmai Crumble, and Kinmoku-sei.”


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