When Palermo’s Bakery opened nearly three decades ago, it was a small storefront affair. Husband and wife team, Joanne and Jerry Bruno, baked small-scale confections at first, but over the years, Jerry became adventurous, constructing elaborate designer cakes that grew more intricate over the years. Twenty-five years later, thanks in part to those same creations, the small Italian bakery has grown into two custom cake shops with more than 50 staff members.
Still helmed by the Bruno family, Palermo's Bakery creates lavish wedding cakes bursting with fondant flowers, and specialty cakes sculpted into an array of improbable shapes, such as 3D champagne bottles. Though baked goods and pastries vary by location, they often include more than 20 flavors of cookies, Italian treats such as cannoli, and kosher desserts such as rugalech. All of the duo’s whimsical creations are available for pick-up or delivery.
Caspian Bistro, which was featured on the PBS show Check, Please!, fires a sweeping selection of Persian, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean dishes over open flames. Conquer lunch cravings with a fresh-broiled chicken gyro, snuggled into a hot pita alongside tomatoes, onions, and a cucumber-garlic yogurt sauce invented as a sports drink for ancient Olympians ($7.69). Dinner diners can appetize their bellies with the vegetarian dolmeh plate, which envelops split peas, basmati rice, and spices in grape leaves with tomato sauce ($6.79), before diving into the vegetable kabob ($13.69). Other skewers bear hunks of seasoned ground beef ($9.99) and marinated filet mignon ($16.49, served over basmati rice and a choice of vegetables).
Open since 1947, Millers Bakery offers a wide array of freshly baked goodies, from seasonally themed cookies to decadent cream cakes. Early-morning risers can wake up with a ring or filled donut ($0.85 each), with tempting varieties such as oat bran, cinnamon, powdered jelly, and chocolate French. Gift a special someone a frosting-laden hazelnut cream or carrot cake specialty cupcake ($1.95 each). Pumpkin, apple, and blueberry pies ($8.50 for 8-inch pie) will be hot commodities for those looking for dessert on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Three Stooges reenactment day. Those who reject sugary pastries can simply stock up on Irish soda bread ($3.50 for 1.2 oz.) or grab a 20 oz. cup of house-blend coffee to go ($1.75).
Carvel has been churning up a creamy conglomeration of ice-cream bars, cakes, sandwiches, and other soft-serve treats made fresh daily with flavorful, kosher ingredients, for more than 75 years. Exercise your licker with small conefuls of soft-serve delight ($3.99), cool your palate after copious rounds of hot-wing ingestion with a large shake ($4.99), or opt for an ice-cream cake ($18.99–$39.99), which can be enhanced with an edible image of your choice (adds $5–$7). Click here to read some common FAQs about Carvel's creations, nutritional information, and how many angels can fit on a scoop of ice cream.
No need to search out a rabbit hole, this Alice In Wonderland-inspired tearoom boasts three whimsical locations where kids enjoy tea, sandwiches, and scones beneath butterfly-strewn ceilings. Baby brothers and sisters need not miss out either, as the menu includes a daily-changing selection of homemade pureed baby food.
Now an international brand of premium ice cream, Häagen-Dazs began as a humble, family-owned business in the Bronx. In the 1920's, Reuben Mattus sold his mother's fruit ices and ice-cream pops out of a horse-drawn wagon. For decades, the family business thrived, and around 1960, Reuben officially founded Häagen-Dazs. He chose the name to evoke Old World traditions and quality craftsmanship, the bedrocks of the brand. Originally, the ice cream came in just three flavors—vanilla, chocolate, and coffee—made from fine ingredients gathered from around the world, such as Belgian dark chocolate, hand-picked vanilla beans from Madagascar, and ice shaved from lunar glaciers. The resulting confections so delighted sweet teeth that the brand grew exponentially, leading to the creation of dozens of flavors and forays into sorbets and frozen yogurts.
Though Häagen-Dazs ice cream was immensely popular in grocery shops, their first parlor didn't open until 1976. Not far from the Mattus family's original ice-cream beat, the Brooklyn store sold ice cream as well as treats such as sundaes, shakes, and cakes. Shops eventually dotted the country and globe, wherein friendly ice-cream scoopers fill waffle cones, blend frosty coffee and ice-cream drinks, and wrap ice-cream cakes in bright ribbons.