A globally recognized sweet shop, Beard Papa's converts traditional desserts into decadent, fresh-baked, hand-labored lovables. Its all-natural cream puffs ($1.75 each) exhibit a complex, crispy outer choux pastry packed with mouth-melting, fluffy whip-cream flavor derived from imported vanilla beans and hours of diligent daydreaming. Available in classic cream and hybrid chocolate, strawberry, espresso, or tea flavors, Beard Papa's cream puffs pluck and pair well with any warm autumn beverage or apathetic frenemy. Outside the realm of spherical sweetness, the shop also puts out single-serving fondant au chocolate engorged with gooey Belgian chocolate ($2.25), a variety of wheel-shaped Paris Brest ($2.25), and mochi ice cream balls—a Japanese confection made up of pounded sticky rice and ice-cream filling ($1.65). Celebrate another year where the moon hasn't accidentally rear-ended the earth with the cream puffs of Beard Papa's.
The rounds experts at Bagels & Co. slake breakfast and lunchtime cravings with freshly baked bialys, bagels, and kosher-certified items, including pizza slices and a rotating menu of chef specialties. Guests can slather 13 bagel flavors with traditional or gourmet spreads, such as walnut and raisin cream cheese or flavored tofu. Bagels & Co.'s credibility lies in its impressive spread of quality ingredients—boasting deli-style cheese slices and fresh cuts of salmon—and correct usage of the ampersand.
Bagel Talk Inc's flavorful rounds emerge piping hot from the warm embrace of the shop's oven, destined to be slathered in cream cheese, stacked into sandwiches, or served alongside steaming cups of coffee and tea. Diners pick their bagels and toppings from a spacious glass display case and settle down to devour eats at tables beneath pendant lights. Bagel-smiths slice Boar's Head meats and cheeses to fill a selection of sandwiches, and breakfast eats load up with bacon, eggs, and cheeses. A dulcet parade of muffins and cookies begs to be included in desserts or given as payment to pigeons starring in online videos.
Sugar and Plumm manages to exude a distinctively French charm that appeals to the refined palates of all ages. The Parisian–inspired whimsical haven caters to virtually every taste bud by enlisting the talents of formally trained chefs, Parisian chocolatiers, and various ice cream makers and pastry chefs. Together, this team creates an eclectic assortment of sweet and savory treats, beginning from scratch whenever possible, and enjoyed while dining in or being delivered.
Executive Chef Ben Dodaro oversees the kitchen at the Upper West Side bistro, cooking a sophisticated combination of upscale yet familiar French classics and refined versions of American comfort foods. His team handles every piece of protein from start to finish by butchering, smoking, and curing all of the meats and fishes in-house. This extra bit of effort helps elevate dishes such as the waffles with crispy, free-range chicken, and it complements the classical elegance of dishes such as the salad with confit rabbit, heirloom carrots, and an orange-cider vinaigrette.
Sugar and Plumm’s savory offerings are only one small piece of the puzzle, though. Master French chocolatier Thierry Atlan and his team use raw, all-natural, sustainably farmed chocolate as they meticulously craft small batches of treats. The pastry chefs bake in two shifts every day, ensuring that the shelves are lined with fresh macarons and cakes, even while taking the time to make their own jams and jellies in-house. These chefs also prepare their own ice creams and sorbets from scratch, patiently allowing the flavors to meld and coalesce by using a process that, much like a book club discussion of The Oxford English Dictionary, takes two full days.
Insomnia Cookies began as a project to feed fresh-baked cookies to hungry college students who spend the wee hours studying, partying, or studying parties for an anthropology course. Cookie gift boxes can come in your choice of chocolate-brown box or gleaming-gold tin (the tin is recommended for long-distance shipping). Inside, your mother, father, or long-lost identical twin will discover 24 deliciously soft cookies in signature flavors, which include chocolate chunk, snickerdoodle, and white-chocolate macadamia, to name just a few. You also have the option to choose your own flavors. Include a message in the complimentary greeting card, or leave it blank as a haunting memento to the delicious flavors words cannot express.
Mojo Frozen Yogurt's decor plays to the colorful nature of its fruit toppings, from the paper lamps that hang above the main counter to the undulating waves of color that run along its back wall. Once you've gotten an eyeful, cups at the curved row of self-serve machines beg to be filled with frozen yogurt, stealling attention from attendants who hand-scoop ice cream sundaes and banana splits. The shop even creates custom ice cream cakes and cheesecakes that help send congratulations. There are goodies here for people with dietary restrictions too, as the shop fills out its menu with sugar-free frozen yogurts, dairy-free sorbets, and calorie-free empty cups.