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Food & Drink
7 (Somewhat Extravagant) Alternatives to the Cone


1 The amaretti at Esca (402 West 43rd Street; 212-564-7272). As it's whisked from the kitchen, the frozen lime curd begins melting over the fresh golden pineapple, which in turn is layered on an almond crisp -- a macaroon-meringue hybrid with a remarkably chewy but soft consistency ($8).

2 The sorbets and fruit soups at Bouley Bakery (120 West Broadway; 212-964-2525). Whether it's cool rhubarb soup with passion fruit, cassis, and fromage blanc, or watermelon gelée with cantaloupe, mayan melon, and watermelon sorbets, the effect is the same: bursts of flavor balanced by a clean, refreshing juice-based essence ($7.50).

3 The Cool Banana Bomb at Lenox (1278 Third Avenue, near 73rd Street; 212-772-0404). In the something-for-every-sweet-tooth category, there's Lenox's frozen banana mousse, which sits atop a chocolate-covered rice crisp surrounded by chunks of caramelized banana and a coconut tuile. The finishing touch: a dollop of vanilla ice cream ($8).

4 The sour-cream sorbet at Alain Ducasse (155 West 58th Street; 212-265-7300). Okay, so it's not exactly guilt-free, but this creamy scoop is lightened up with passion-fruit juice and pieces of mango and lemongrass, then topped with black pepper for a palate-cleansing kick (complimentary with dessert).

5 The lime-mint granita with vodka at Ouest (2315 Broadway, at 84th Street; 212-580-8700). Somewhere between dessert and after-dinner drink, this citrus-infused shaved ice is like a snow cone with piquant flavors -- and a warm afterglow ($8).

6 The chilled cantaloupe-and-pear seviche at Patria (250 Park Avenue South, at 20th Street; 212-777-6211). In a twist on the enduring classic, cantaloupe and pear slices are cooked slightly by the acid from a lime-and-vanilla marinade, served beside pears poached in cider, topped with a gazpacho sorbet ($9).

7 The green-apple sorbet at Aquavit (13 West 54th Street; 212-307-7311). The sorbet forms a tart base for a fennel-white-chocolate cream that is topped with whipped cream and finished with a hard, fennel-seed-studded nougatine crust. The tower is accompanied by lime sorbet and a salad of caramelized apple and candied fennel.

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