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5 NYC Desserts We’d Like at Our Birthday Party

Have you heard? NewYork.com is turning one. And not that we need an excuse to throw a party, but a birthday is as good a one as any. Which got us thinking: How best to celebrate our first year. Good bubbly is important, of course, as is wearing funny birthday hats. But what makes or breaks a birthday is the sweet stuff — dessert. At great hardship, we sampled desserts across New York City to come up with five we’d like to have at our party.

 

Zuccotto at Lincoln Ristorante (Photo: Evan Sung)

Zuccotto at Lincoln Ristorante (Photo: Evan Sung)

Zuccotto at Lincoln Ristorante
It says a lot when a dessert manages to outshine the performances at the neighboring Lincoln Center opera and ballet. Say grazie to Lincoln Ristorante pastry chef Richard Capizzi for this black-and-white swirled wonder. Amaretto-soaked chocolate and almond sponge cakes sit on a base of chocolate brownie filled with chocolate mousse. The whole cake is molded in the shape of a pumpkin (“zuccotto” means “little pumpkin”) and is said to be inspired by Florence’s duomo. The slices are then served with a scoop of mint stracciatella gelato. Delizioso. 142 W. 65th St., 212-359-6500, lincolnristorante.com

 

Banana Split at Empire Diner (Photo: Courtesy of Empire Diner)

Banana Split at Empire Diner (Photo: Courtesy of Empire Diner)

Banana Split at Empire Diner
Songs have been written about it. Poems have been penned in its honor. Entire summers have lived in anticipation of it. It’s the banana split, and no one makes it better than the historic Empire Diner in Chelsea, which reopened with much fanfare this year after closing in 2010. Helmed by chef Amanda Freitag — of Food Network fame — the menu is best described as “comfort foodie,” and one of the stars is the classic banana split, with creamy ice cream, wet walnuts, gobs of chocolate sauce, whipped cream and a cherry on top. 210 10th Ave., 212-596-7523, empire-diner.com

 

Birthday Cake at Momofuku Milk Bar (Photo: Courtesy of Momofuku)

Birthday Cake at Momofuku Milk Bar (Photo: Courtesy of Momofuku)

Birthday Cake at Momofuku Milk Bar
“Dairy Queen with pork buns,” is how pastry chef Christina Tosi describes her dessert joint Momofuku Milk Bar with five NYC locations. And that pretty much sums up the quirky menu, which includes pork buns and kimchi, as well as her famous Cereal Milk soft-serve ice-cream (breakfast of champions!), Compost cookies, Crack pie and the aptly named Birthday Cake, a multi-layered concoction made with rainbow cake crumble, sprinkles and vanilla frosting. Multiple locations, milkbarstore.com

 

Petit Fours at Chikalicious Dessert Bar (Photo: Courtesy of Chikalicious)

Petit Fours at Chikalicious Dessert Bar (Photo: Courtesy of Chikalicious)

Petit Fours and more at Chikalicious Dessert Bar
When a place has both “dessert” and “bar” in its name, the crowds will come. And they do, with a line out the door at this tiny East Village spot that serves two important things: dessert and alcohol. Naturally, this is where we like to consume our daily caloric intake, and our pick for a birthday dessert are the petits fours, those sweet morsels with the French name. The rotating flavors might include everything from lychee marshmallow to chocolate mousse to strawberry shortcake. And, you can pair them with wine. Bon appetit — and santé! 203 E. 10th St., 212-995-9511, chikalicious.com

 

Baklava at Loi (Photo: Courtesy of Loi)

Baklava at Loi (Photo: Courtesy of Loi)

Baklava & Tyroglico at Loi
It stands to reason that one of the most ancient cuisines in the world knows how to make a good dessert. For the best baklava this side of the Atlantic, we turn to Chef Maria Loi of the elegant Loi restaurant on the Upper West Side. Sink your teeth into the signature baklava, with paper-thin layers of phyllo topped with almonds, walnuts and pistachios, and drizzled in spicy honey syrup. And, if you like New York cheesecake, you’ll love Loi’s version — tyroglico, a Greek cheesecake with crunchy nuts and a sweet honey crust. Enjoy it with a glass of ouzo or three. Opa! 208 W. 70th St., 212-875-8600, loirestaurant.com

For more sweets, see the yummy birthday cake at Commerce, 5 dessert trends of summer 2014 and the city’s best gelato.

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