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The Most Delectable Summer Sweets

delposto120409_560Ice cream is undoubtedly the most popular sweet come summer, but it would be a shame to skip over the plated dessert menu the next time you go out to eat.  Because many of New York’s top pastry chefs are turning out indelibly creative, composed treats that are every bit as appealingly seasonal as popsicles, cups and cones, like the Sweet Pea Cake at Del Posto and the Peaches on Toast at Prune. Here’s a few of our favorites…

Del Posto

Del Posto
85 10th Ave
Chelsea,New York 10011
(212) 497-8090

Del Posto’s enormously talented pastry chef, Brooks Headley, is known for ingeniously incorporating savory ingredients into his one-of-a-kind desserts.  So instead of the expected summer fruits, like peaches, plums, cherries and berries, look for herbs and vegetables to find their way into your sweets, including the Amor Polenta with Blueberries, Corn and Tarragon, and Lidia’s Sweet Pea Cake, an ode to famed co-owner, Lidia Bastianich, which gets topped with Greenmarket Strawberries and Strawberry Gelato.  Downright dreamy.

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Prune

Prune
54 E 1st Street
East Village,New York 10003
(212) 677-6221

Don’t dismiss Prune as just a persistently buzzy brunch spot.  Gabrielle Hamilton’s East Village destination exudes rustic, down-home appeal during both dinner and dessert, when you’ll find a Glazed Blueberry Tartlet topped with Tapioca Cream, Cold Chocolate Milk Pudding crowned with Brandied Cherries, and an audaciously, delectably simple pile of summery Sugared Peaches, piled on Warm Buttered Toast.

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The Gorbals

The Gorbals
98 N 6th Street
Brooklyn,New York 11211
(718) 387-0195

The new Brooklyn outpost of Ilan Hall’s L.A. hotspot, The Gorbals, is every bit as quirky as expected.  Think Bacon-wrapped Matzoh Balls, Chicken Schnitzel with the talons still attached, and (you better believe it), an allium-scented Brownie, studded with Caramelized Onions and finished with Vidalia Caramel.  Don’t want to pop a breath mint after dessert? There’s also a comparatively sedate bowl of Warm Cherries, daubed with Fennel Seed Ricotta and laked with good Olive Oil.

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Contra

Contra
138 Orchard St
Lower East Side,New York 10002
(212) 466-4633

Pastry chef Fabian von Hauske has gotten a lot of attention lately.  He was selected as one of Eater’s “Young Guns,” made Zagat’s yearly “30 Under 30” list, and recently launched an occasional, off-menu dessert tasting at his experimental, Lower East Side eatery, Contra.  For only $20, you’ll be able to try three of his envelope-pushing treats, such as Chamomile Ice Cream with Strawberries and Olive Oil, Toasted Potato Mousse with Blueberries, and Toasted Buckwheat Custard with Caramelized Grains and Yogurt Sorbet.

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Rotisserie Georgette

Rotisserie Georgette
14 E 60th St
Upper East Side,New York 10022
(212) 390-8060

The backbone of this supremely elegant Upper West Side establishment will always be the pitch-perfect Poulet Roti, but the rest of the menu revolves with the seasons.  Which means that everything from the salads to the sides to the sweets currently scream summer, including a Berry Parfait with Raspberry-Rose Sorbet and Whipped Yogurt, a Raspberry Tart with Toasted Pistachio Ice Cream, and a delicious take on the classic French dessert, the Ile Flottante, comprised of Meringue, Lemon Cream, Strawberry Sorbet, and Toasted Pistachios.

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Gato

Gato
324 Lafayette St
NoHo,New York 10012
(212) 334-6400

Take a tour of the Mediterranean at Bobby Flay’s newest spot, Gato.  Spanish influences abound, exemplified by Piquillo Peppers filled with Raw Tuna and drizzled with Saffron Sauce, as well as crusty, Kale and Wild Mushroom Paella, topped with Artichoke and Egg.  Other dishes hail straight from Italy, such as a homey Blackberry Crostata, paired with a vibrant Strawberry Rhubarb Gelato.

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Charlie Bird

Charlie Bird
5 King Street
Soho,New York 10012
(212) 235-7133

Try not to fill up on pasta and cheese toast at the seriously hip SoHo eatery, Charlie Bird, because you won’t want to miss their new selection of summery sweets.  There’s a fluffy Strawberry Coconut Cake with Rhubarb and Coconut Gelato, an ethereal Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Gingerbread and fresh Greenmarket Cherries, and even a seasonal Cheese Plate, consisting of a wedge of nutty, warm Robiola drizzled with Anise Honey and strewn with unctuous, sticky Figs.

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Shake Shack DUMBO

Shake Shack DUMBO
1 Old Fulton St
Brooklyn,New York 11201
(347) 435-2676

The newest branch of Shake Shack in Brooklyn is tipping its hat to the borough, by teaming up with one of its most popular pastry shops; Four and Twenty Blackbirds.  So when you order the “Brooklyn Pie Oh My” Concrete, you’ll get a tall cup of Vanilla Custard with a seasonal wedge of pie mixed right in, such as syrupy Strawberry Balsamic, floral Lavender Blueberry or tangy Rhubarb Crumble.

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