Because Our Desserts Are as Good as Everyone Else’s Entire Meals

Photo: Bumblebee Studio for New York Magazine

Of our many collective virtues, patience doesn’t rank high. This applies especially to the dedicated dessert freak for whom the opening rounds of dinner, no matter how delectably gourmet, are mere appetite-killing prelude to the main event. Enter the dessert bar, a high-design, quasi-decadent, and eminently date-friendly new development where haute confections (and thoughtfully matched wines and spirits) are the raison d’être, where discriminating sugar fiends can satisfy cravings for the sort of confectionery spectacle that just can’t be found at Veniero’s or the Hungarian Pastry Shop (reasons to love New York in their own nostalgic right). Ever since ChikaLicious launched the trend in 2003, New Yorkers have lined up for that establishment’s ethereal, cloudlike fromage blanc cheesecake and a front-row view of the cooks assembling their elegant concoctions at the sushi-style counter. Pastry provocateur Will Goldfarb came next, finally finding a niche and a devoted clientele at the nearly year-old Room 4 Dessert, where his whimsically named inventions (“Indecent Proposal” is a men’s-clubby lark involving applewood gelatin and bourbon gelato) read like science experiments but taste like heaven. The Japanese- inspired creations at the newly opened Kyotofu are less challenging, perhaps, but equally enticing, and can be sampled en masse in the three-course, $15 kaiseki prix fixe. There’s never been a better time to be a “dessert person” in New York, and with envelope-pushing pastry chefs Sam Mason and Pichet Ong, late of WD-50 and Spice Market, respectively, opening their own idiosyncratic spots in the new year, the future of all-desserts-all-the-time dining looks just as sweet.

Because Our Desserts Are as Good as Everyone Else […]