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A Spotlight On New York’s Best Spring Desserts

Just as restaurants can’t wait to swap out root vegetables for ramps and asparagus come spring, they’re equally excited to drop apples and pears for delicate seasonal produce, such as strawberries and rhubarb.  So here are some incredible NYC sweets that absolutely scream spring; from Nur’s inspired, yogurt and artichoke dessert (yes, really) to Union Square’s Strawberry Pavlova.

Nur

Nur
34 E 20th St
Flatiron District,New York 10003
(212) 505-3420

Artichokes are a classic spring veggie, but it’s not often that you find them incorporated into sweets.  So credit buzzy Middle Eastern newcomer, Nur, for thinking beyond rhubarb and strawberries for their “Hills of Jerusalem” dessert; featuring pistachio cream, yogurt ice cream, cardamom, chocolate, halva, and hearts of crispy Jerusalem artichokes.

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Union Square Café

Union Square Café
101 E 19th St
Union Square,New York 10003
(212) 243-4020

Pastry chef Daniel Alvarez has the luxury of being within immediate striking distance of the Union Square Greenmarket, which informs desserts such as Rhubarb Sundaes with frozen yogurt and puffed grains, Strawberry Pavlova teamed with strawberry sorbet, mint ice cream and vanilla whipped ganache, and Panna Cotta flavored with citrus, strewn with granola and sided with clementine sorbet.

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Yellow Magnolia Café

Yellow Magnolia Café
1010 Washington Ave
Prospect Heights,New York 11225
(718) 307-7136

Staunch seasonality is a must, considering Rob Newton’s restaurant is located directly inside of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden — so look for Sheep’s Milk Ricotta Cheesecake, accented with rhubarb and pistachio crumb, and Meyer Lemon Mousse over blackberries and butter cookies.

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Four and Twenty Blackbirds

Four and Twenty Blackbirds
439 3rd Avenue
NY 11215
(718) 499-2917

So much more than a slice shop, the newest outpost of Four and Twenty’s beloved bakery dynasty actually offers pie and booze pairings; we’re talking Lemon Cheese accompanied by grapefruit spritzers and Strawberry Streusel with IPA.

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Metta

Metta
197 Adelphi St
Fort Greene,New York 11205
(718) 233-9134

Norberto Piattoni (a Francis Mallmann protégé) uses a flickering wood oven to cook just about everything at his buzzy, new South American-inflected spot in Fort Greene — and that even extends to dessert, such as Ash-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with elecampane cream, and Chocolate Custard with coal-smoked maple sap granita.

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Villanelle

Villanelle
15 E 12th St
East Village,New York 10003
(212) 989-2474

Former Degustation chef, Nick Licata, is also raiding the vegetable bins at Greenwich Village’s Villanelle; debuting a Parsnip dessert this past winter, and making use of sugary Peas this spring, paired with soft meringue, watermelon sorbet, sour cherry and rhubarb.

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Italienne

Italienne
19 W 24th St
Flatiron District,New York 10010
(212) 600-5139

Tuck into Gateau au Rhubarb with marjoram custard at Jared Sippel’s Northern Italian/Southern French Italienne, along with Pate Choux au Craquelin; crackle-topped cream puffs piped with basil-infused chiboust and fraises de bois — tiny, wood-foraged strawberries.

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Chez Ma Tante

Chez Ma Tante
90 Calyer St
Greenpoint,New York 11222
(718) 389-3606

The husband-and-wife dream team behind Anella, Lilia and more just transformed their Jimmy’s Diner space into the utterly charming Chez Ma Tante.  And they’ve commissioned two highly skilled chefs (both formerly of Café Altro Paradiso) to helm the rustic French kitchen, turning out everything from Grilled Veal with green sauce and Skate Wing slicked with sabayon, to Lemon Crostata, Green Apple Sorbet with vodka, and Rhubarb Custard Tart.

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