Sure, you could go the predictable route on Valentine’s Day with foie gras, oysters, and ﬂowers. But with the new boom in dessert destinations, a trend pioneered by the thriving ChikaLicious, why not sneak away for some love—or least some hazelnut-chocolate layer cake and a glass of Banyuls—in the afternoon?
Lady M Cake Boutique
The seriously elegant pastry shop plays cupid with heart-shaped gâteaux au chocolat and caramel-cream-filled cream puffs, plus champagne by the glass or split.
41 E. 78th St., nr. Madison Ave.; 212-452-2222
The Chocolate Room
A cozy, candlelit nook serving the ever-romantic chocolate fondue for two, classic layer cake, and chocolatier Fritz Knipschildt’s line of bonbons and drizzlable dessert syrups.
86 Fifth Ave., nr. Warren St., Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-783-2900
Pay museum admission and ascend to this haute showcase for the Modern’s pastry chef, Marc Aumont, and his cheesecake sundae, ultrarich hot chocolate, and petite pistachio cake.
11 W. 53rd St., nr. Sixth Ave.; 212-333-1220
Jacques Torres Chocolate Haven
Huddle over a Wicked Hot Chocolate (or two) and a flaky slice of pithivier, a chocolate ganache tart, or a dense dark-chocolate cookie. Then overdose on a box of passion-fruit hearts.
350 Hudson St., at King St.; 212-414-2462
The Brooklyn boondocks is a long way to go for a slice of Red Hook Red Hot, but this funky café’s out-of-the-way locale is part of its appeal.
359 Van Brunt St., nr. Dikeman St., Red Hook, Brooklyn; 718-222-0345
Sugar Sweet Sunshine
The cupcake craze has hit the Lower East Side big-time, and on Valentine’s Day, a dozen minis go for $15 at this cozy hangout.
126 Rivington St., nr. Essex St.; 212-995-1960