Raised in St. Ann's Parish, Jamaica, Pon Di Riva owner Elouise Moulton imbues her menu with recipes she learned while assisting at her mother's island restaurant. Succulent cuts of Jamaican specialties such as jerk chicken and oxtail sprawl on beds of white rice, nestled against throw pillows of peas and a sautéed safety blanket of vegetables ($7 for small; $9 for large). On seafood Fridays, lumps of crabmeat wash up onto shores of linguine or white rice ($10–$12). Beef, chicken, and vegetable patties ($2+) file fresh from the oven alongside breads and buns from Royal Caribbean Bakery in Mount Vernon ($2.95–$7.95 a package).
The confectionery alchemists residing in Three Dogs’ kitchen wield gluten-free recipes to conjure up delicious cookies, a bevy of baked goods, and cakes for all occasions. Diligent ovens spend mornings incubating muffins ($1.50 each) and scones ($3 each), warming up for such larger midday deliveries as loaves of bread ($8) or scale gingerbread models of Fallingwater. Cupcakes ($1.50–$2) parade in seasonably fashionable coats of icing behind glass displays surrounded by adoring throngs of freshly baked cookies ($0.75–$1.50). Assuage multi-layered cravings with 8"x8" pans of bar cookies ($12), which double as boards for impromptu chess games between rival pâtissiers.
Chef Chanelle Watson has a talent that most superheroes would envy: she can turn liquids into (delicious) solids. At Chanelle's Heavenly Treasures, some of her most popular desserts are liquor-infused cakes and cupcakes, all of which are inspired by cocktails. The Patron cupcake, for example, features a tequila-infused cake and tequila frosting, and is garnished with a slice of lime. Other intoxicating concoctions include a Hennessey and Coke variant?decorated with Hennessey-infused chocolate buttercream and drizzled with a Coca Cola reduction?and mimosa, made with a Grand Marnier and champagne-infused orange cake, and topped with Grand Marnier buttercream and crystalized sugar.
These cocktail cupcakes might seem ultra-modern, but Chanelle's baking style skews traditional. She makes all of her gourmet desserts from scratch?that means no added preservatives, stabilizers, or dust from a sugar plum fairy's wings. The only extra ingredient added is a personalized touch, whether it's a sorority logo on a cake pop or your favorite type of cookie in an edible bouquet. And for custom orders, Chanelle always schedules a dessert planning session with her clients, and follows up with them after they've received?and devoured?their confections.
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It’s rare to get exactly what you want in life, but Aunt B’s Yogurt Bar is one sweet exception. “Everybody loves it, people from three to 103,” explained Aunt B's owner, Bobbie Loeb, to the North Salem Daily Voice. “They all want to do it themselves.” By “do it themselves,” she means choosing from a roster of frozen-yogurt flavors—examples include angel food cake and York chocolate peppermint—and decorating the cold treat with more than 40 toppings, such as fresh fruit, pistachios, or caramel Ghirardelli syrup. At a DIY waffle station, patrons can prepare fresh, hot waffles to douse with the creamy dessert. Despite its decadent texture, yogurt has health benefits; each flavor delivers live, active cultures that promote healthy digestion and reduce excess midi-chlorian counts.
Voted Best Cupcakes by Westchester Magazine, Flour & Sun Bakery's confectionery artisans whip up cupped concoctions from scratch daily, using local, preservative-free ingredients whenever possible. Each day the cupcakery offers eight to 11 different flavors of the small sweets, with flavors pulled from their vast menu of more than 150 varieties. Stock up on classic vanilla and chocolate, or mix and match among their more inventive concoctions, such as the samoa cupcake, vanilla cake filled with caramel, topped with caramel frosting and toasted coconut flakes, and coveted internationally by rival jewel thieves, each gunning to first lay claim to the prize.
The baristas and bakers of Gypsy Donut and Espresso Bar perform a daily balancing act of baking handmade treats from locally sourced and free-trade ingredients, reducing their carbon footprint, and expanding their community outreach. They accomplish the first feat by producing a tasty assortment of donuts using ingredients acquired from local purveyors and farmers and brewing free-trade beans roasted by Nyack’s own Stumptown Coffee. Their dedication to reducing waste inspires them to donate used coffee grounds for composting, and they also make use of the building’s exposed brick walls and reclaimed materials including a fallen pine tree, which was fashioned into a counter. The staff is equally committed to the local community, and they demonstrate this by giving surplus food to local pantries and participating in the Mostly Music Festival with their edible saxophone routine. They encourage participation from their guests by allowing them to make donut-flavor suggestions with a grand prize of a half-dozen donuts given to the winning idea's generator.