Frrrozen Hot Chocolate. It seems like a contradiction at first, something that defies the laws of beverage physics. Yet it's that very drink that has long defined Serendipity 3, an Upper East Side dessert destination since 1954. In a business profile for New York magazine, Hal Rubenstein summed up his thoughts on the signature treat—"It's like riding the Cyclone and giving a hickey: You have to do it at least once in your life."
That frozen beverage, or "frrrozen" beverage as it's fittingly called here, complements a full lineup of desserts: apple pie, fresh fruit sundaes, and ice cream crepes just to name a few. Serendipity 3 even holds the Guinness World Record for the world's most expensive dessert. Their Golden Opulence Sundae covers rich Tahitian vanilla bean ice cream in 23-karat edible gold leaf and other rich and exotic ingredients. The dessert, which must be ordered 48 hours in advance, comes with a bill for $1,000.
The shop's setting echoes its whimsical menu. Stained glass Tiffany lampshades and funky decor—like a giant skeleton key that hangs from the ceiling—offset the whitewashed walls of a Manhattan townhouse. The location has seen its fair share of famous faces over the years, including President Bill Clinton, and regulars have passed decades enjoying country meatloaf and hamburgers topped with chili. Of course, Serendipity 3's desserts remain the star, and the shop sells many items for customers to take home, including hot chocolate mix and hot fudge sauce.
While working long hours as an investment banker, Dawn Cameron often found herself dreaming of tea—of the brightness of the mint, the calmness of the chamomile, and the crispness of the matcha green. Her world was a portrait of the high-paced New York work environment, thrumming with caffeinated coffee junkies, screaming phones, and lost carrier pigeons. Seeking respite and finding none readily available, Dawn created her own: Sanctuary T.
Surrounded by the cork-paneled walls of the tranquil, sunlit dining room, her guests perch on woven chairs and wooden stools, sipping more than 70 available varieties of tea. To ensure fresh flavors, tea gurus bag each serving by hand. When explaining this process to reporters from Metromix, Dawn explained, "there's a fullness to the [teas'] flavor. When machines process the teabag, you lose that character."
Deep in the kitchen, chefs whip up innovative dishes that pair well with well-steeped beverages including tea-infused specialty cocktails lauded by reporters from the New York Post. Behind the bar, mixologists preside over extensive beer and wine lists that earned Sanctuary T designation as a Top Beer and Wine Bar from the raconteurs at Shecky's Nightlife. Shecky's writers also heaped praise on the bar's specialty cocktails, which they referred to approvingly as both "holistic" and "trippy".
Owner Jim Lahey imbues his experience as a sculptor into every aspect of the bakery's rustic Italian breads. Sink weary teeth into the spa-like sourdough specialty pane casareccio ($7.25), a dark-crusted oval of mouth-based mollycoddling, or try the light ciabatta grande ($3.50), which translates to "large slipper" in Italian because of its prevalence among the night's giant, roaming bread legs. Sullivan Street Bakery also offers high-quality sandwich-based applications of these yeasty masterworks, such as the pork and peach, gently bread-enveloped shallot puree, roast pork, dandelion, peach, chili powder, salt, and olive oil ($6), as well as daring takes on classic Cuban and Caprese sandwiches. The bakery also offers authentic pizze and sweet-tooth-satiating dolci.
Located in Times Square, the fourth incarnation of world-famous nightclub The Copacabana celebrates more than 70 years of star-studded revelry with south-of-the-border cuisine, toe-tapping dance fests and a glamorous nightclub atmosphere. The prix-fixe menu whisks appetites away on a three-plate tour guided by experienced Head Chef Alex Garcia. Diners can munch on manchego-cheese and rock-shrimp appetizers in time with the live beats of the Copacabana All-Stars band before wine escorts entrees of steak, slow-roasted pork, and snapper to tables. To cap off meals, traditional desserts, such as flans and tortas, send satisfied sighs ricocheting off the dining room's palm-tree-shaped columns and marble busts of Barry Manilow.
After dinner, guests step out onto the dance floor to sway, dip, and spin to DJ-provided tunes at 9 p.m. in the Supper Club and 9:30 p.m. in the nightclub. A live band takes over the Supper Club at 11 p.m. Tucked-away couches and atmospheric low lighting help guests relive the exploits of The Copacabana's famous past guests, from Frank Sinatra's raucous nights out with the Rat Pack to Martin and Lewis' stirring renditions of Waiting for Godot.
The clean, modern eatery, with stark white walls and a wraparound bar, boasts a fresh menu of quick vegan fare and all-kosher treats for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Grab a vegan apple-cinnamon donut ($3) and enjoy baked breakfast on the go, or stop in for a quick lunch. Sample from the selection of healthy hand-helds starring several meats in disguise, such as the bacon-cheddar chicken-ranch sandwich ($7.81) or the Skinny Elvis sandwich ($5.47), with creamy peanut butter smushed into caramelized bananas. Wraps and salads, such as the bean salad ($5.97), which marries Terri's special six-bean blend with corn, peas, red onions, agave, and balsamic vinaigrette, offer filling fare, while the sweet selection of smoothies, fresh juices, and shakes, such as the choco-peanut butter or Butterfinger ($5.97) promise to please even the most ardent pro-dairy diner.