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.
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.
When not busy stocking its shelves with imported Italian pantry staples, The Iron Tomato's kitchen whips out authentic dishes of fresh fare crafted using house-made mozzarella and fresh ingredients culled from the in-house produce stand and butchery. Engage in midday munching with offerings from the market's full-service salad bar, or exchange amorous glances with an eggplant and prosciutto sandwich, which spans the distance between two halves of a bastone with fried eggplant, prosciutto, mozzarella, and broccoli rabe ($10.75). Diners can pledge their undying devotion to pasta by diving into bowlfuls of homemade cheese ravioli ($13.95) or creamy pancetta-laced fettuccini alfredo ($12.95), or the can feign loyalty to its arch nemesis, antipasti, by surrendering to bites of baked little-neck clams rolled in seasoned breadcrumbs ($8.50). Come dinner time, stuffed pork chops envelop a melodious mélange of broccoli rabe, roasted peppers, and fresh mozzarella ($17.95) to silence boisterous stomach pains, and the Giant Iron Tomato burger anchors appetites with 24 ounces of sirloin topped with cheese, sautéed mushrooms, onions, and a small wrecking ball ($10.95).
We are bakers of bread. We are fresh from the oven. We are a symbol of warmth and welcome. We are a simple pleasure, honest and genuine. We are a life story told over dinner. We are a long lunch with an old friend. We are your weekday morning ritual. We are the kindest gesture of neighbors. We are home. We are family.
Bagels are never boring at What A Bagel, where the classic chewy breakfast buns are baked fresh in more than 18 flavors. Savory egg, garlic, or whole-wheat sesame seed bagels become twice as tempting when crowned with a schmear of house-whipped scallion or bacon-garlic-herb cream cheese. Sweet options include blueberry or cinnamon-sugar bagels and cream cheese blended with strawberries. Any bagel can transform itself into a sandwich when stuffed with scrumptious fillings such as pastrami, house-cooked roast beef, rotisserie chicken, and jalapeño jack cheese. Lox lovers will also find themselves facing a major dilemma, as What A Bagel offers no less than nine types of smoked fish, including Scotch salmon, Nova Scotia salmon, and salmon that was born in Schenectady but now only visits on holidays.
Rather than churn out recipes from the past, the mixologists at Blue Amber strive to craft cocktails with a contemporary flair. That's why, instead of staples such as the old-fashioned, they whip up original libations such as the fashionable??a blend of Aperol, thyme, Citron vodka, and lemon juice. Besides cocktails, the lounge's bartenders decant domestic and imported beers, as well as wines by the glass. All of these drinks complement the culinary team's artfully plated tapas, which are made with flavors ranging from melted goat cheese to apple- and ginger-marinated pork belly coated with apple-cider-barbecue sauce. Shared meals unfold inside Iron Shaker's cozy booths or along a polished bar lined with candles.