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.
Cold Stone's ice cream, made fresh in stores every day, inhabits a quantum flux between soft-serve and traditional ice cream, with a rich, creamy texture that whispers tales of its super-premium quality as it glides over taste buds. The ice cream generously welcomes dozens of toppings, as traditional as crumbled cookies and chopped nuts. Choose your favorite ice cream from dozens of silky flavors, such as cake batter and mint. Then make certain no one will try and steal a taste by topping it protectively with brownies, gumballs, and cherry-pie filling. Whatever Frankencream you create, it'll be scooped cold off the grill into a freshly made waffle cone or bowl. Cold Stone's ice cream and toppings vary by season and location. The store also offers sorbet and an array of lighter toppings, such as fruit and honey. Ice-cream creations run between $1.99 and $5.99, depending on size.
Tazza Café's baristas serve a lively selection of handcrafted coffee drinks alongside light lunch fare and pastries that are baked fresh in-house. Express your support for the international caffeinated beverage of your choice, choosing from the Americano, cappuccino, and café au lait ($3.25+), or remain deliciously neutral with a steamy Belgian sipping chocolate. A refreshing iced tea ($2.25+) staves off summer's sweltering advances and a frozen hot chocolate ($4.35) bombards unsuspecting mouths with the oxymoronic warmth of an unlighted stove. Alternate caffeinated sips with fluffy mouthfuls of freshly baked treats, including scones, croissants, and jumbo muffins, available in flavors such as pistachio-walnut and cappuccino ($2.75).
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.
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.