Candy comes in every color at Chocolate Works NYC, where the rainbow of confectionery pairs naturally with the sunny dispositions of those who roam the store’s aisles. Hints of red peek out from chocolate-dipped strawberries, jordan almonds model this season’s pastels, and self-serve bins nearly burst with Jelly Belly jellybeans. Wrapped in shimmering foil or cellophane, kosher truffles and edible replicas of famous paintings momentarily distract eyes from a chocolate fountain, which bubbles into a rich brown pool framed by a marzipan “No Swimming” sign.
Headlined by master chocolatier Joe Whaley and Pretzels by Jill’s Jill Frechtman, an all-star cast of instructors takes the helm during the shop’s signature candy-making classes. Among other delicious, hands-on lessons, teachers demonstrate how to swathe pretzels in Belgian chocolate at an old-fashioned enrobing machine. Kids also learn how to dip, mold, and decorate during one-hour workshops and birthday parties that teem with edible crafts and sugary confetti.
Sockerbit imports Scandinavian culture stateside in the form of candies that have garnered mentions in the New York Times and Time Out New York. Literally translated as sugar cube, Sockerbit is also the name of a white-cubed marshmallow, which provided inspiration for the design of the simple, clean storefront that puts the focus on the mouth-watering morsels. Confectioners craft candies with natural coloring and without trans fats or genetically modified ingredients. Sour treats in the shape of cherry pops and melons twist faces into puckers normally reserved for kissing kings' jewelry, and the chocolate section features coconut, pretzels, pralines, and oatmeal truffles drizzled in smooth cocoa. The sweet specialists also proffer mouth-pleasing favors for gift baskets, special events, and toddler conventions.
The light strumming of flamenco guitar accompanies pitchers of sangria and sizzling plates of paella at Euzkadi, a 2010 Michelin Guide–recommended restaurant. Diffuse lighting illuminates the platters of seafood paella with chorizo for two as it is carried into the dining area, as well as small plates of tapas such as Spanish olives and salmon a la plancha, seared with a fennel-tomato confit. Glasses of red riojas, sparkling cavas, and after-dinner ports float in from behind the full bar or hop off the sturdy wood beams that hold the bottles out at a 90-degree angle. The restaurant's exposed bricks and soft lighting, further darkened with thick, velvet drapes, lead up to a ceiling of primitive drawings of hunters, buffalo, and motocross races designed to mimic the cave drawings in the Basque region of northern Spain.
Panorama Cafe peppers Italian favorites with Latin American staples, surprising palates with a delectable spread of brick-oven pizzas, veggie burritos filled with seasonal produce, and housemade pastas tossed with wild mushrooms and avocado. Thin-crust pizzas show off mouthwatering toppings such as prosciutto, arugula, fresh basil, and gorgonzola, and seemingly standard entrees tinker with culinary expectations: juicy steaks baste in sun-dried-tomato chimichurri salsa, and the panorama salad blends mixed greens, mango, and pistachio crusted-goat-cheese cakes. As diners feast on forkfuls of cuisine from the Old and New Worlds, a cozy ambience of soft light, earthy tones and cloth-clad tables nestles guests in a casual, yet elegant environment.
Though Dante’s New York works well as a quick-lunch stop, visitors may be tempted to linger a while. The sandwich shop’s stately decor is reminiscent of a turn-of-the-century pharmacy: mahogany-colored columns and carved-wood accents border the ordering counter, and red-and-white vinyl adds an old-fashioned feel to the long booth on the opposite side. But the real star of Dante’s is the menu, which chefs deck out with dishes that incorporate homemade stocks and eschew canned or quantum-leaping products for fresh ingredients whenever possible. Chefs fill sandwiches and paninis with chimichurri and flank steak or fresh mozzarella, basil, and sun-dried tomatoes, but entrees get yet fancier with options such as pan-seared salmon with ginger-lime sauce and charcoal-grilled chicken kebabs.
Most frozen-yogurt shops aren’t embellished with wooden accents and soft, stylish lighting. Then again, most shops wouldn’t dub themselves a “frozen-yogurt boutique.” But YoArt, the sister store of Frannie’s Goodie Shop boasts both the decor and upscale sweets to do just that. Stamped with a Live & Active Cultures seal from the National Yogurt Association, each of its yogurts mask healthy, digestion-aiding probiotics behind the veneer of a frosty dessert. The self-serve bays are loaded with 12 flavors each day, including Ghirardelli Chocolate, Very NY Vanilla, and Greek Black Cherry as well as non-dairy sorbet. More than 80 toppings from an island and wall-affixed dispensers cascade over chilly peaks of sustenance, including freshly whipped cream, and champagne cordials.