- Soutine Bakery
104 W. 70th St., nr. Columbus Ave.; 212-496-1450Video Made in Partnership With NYC Media
Though there’s no shortage of world-class bakers in this town, store-bought kids’ birthday cakes are another story entirely. They generally fall into two camps: prettily sculpted confections that taste like cardboard or perfectly delicious creations with the personality of a doorstop. The cakes crafted by Madge Rosenberg, proprietor of this 28-year-old Upper West Side mainstay, manage to hit the aesthetic-culinary sweet spot. Hers are baked from scratch (fillings run from standard vanilla or chocolate to lemon curd or raspberry mousse); are festive without looking garish (bakers can hand-paint and sculpt pretty much anything, from a three-dimensional, foot-tall dinosaur to a Humvee); and, most important, taste as good as they look. This includes desserts that accommodate all sorts of dietary restrictions—vegan, nut-free, gluten-free, etc. A twenty-serving cake costs $50—not bad for a once-a-year indulgence.