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Fondue from Max
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Pinot Noir at
As Dylan Lauren expands Dylan’s Candy Bar to Los Angeles and Miami, she continues to breathe new life into the original candy bar with her New York City outpost recently introducing frozen treats from Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit Co. Lauren takes us around her native city, beyond her Third Avenue sweets emporium, and shares with us her secret places for Valentine’s Day desserts.
Alice’s Tea Cup
The teahouse’s Alice in Wonderland theme makes for a cozy and fantastical haunt. For a treat to complement a cup of tea, I love the marshmallow fluff and Nutella crepe with a buttermilk scone. 102 W. 73rd St., 212-799-3006; 156 E. 64th St., 212-486-9200; 220 E. 81st St., 212-734- 4832; alicesteacup.com
Made from all-natural, organic ingredients, the tasty baked goods at BabyCakes are mostly sweetened with agave nectar. Try the classic vanilla cupcake with creamy vanilla frosting—which is prepared without dairy, egg, or soy. Or sample one of the bakery’s seasonal specials. 248 Broome St., 855-462-2292
The story of this New York classic dates back to 1892 when the café opened in its current Little Italy location. When I’m enjoying their timeless tiramisu—ladyfingers prepared in espresso, coffee liqueur, and mascarpone cream—I always request to sit upstairs because it’s more intimate and cozy. 195 Grand St., 212-226-6150; ferraracafe.com
Levain Bakery Levain Bakery makes the best homemade bread and cookies. I have a weak spot for oatmeal raisin cookies, and their giant, six-ounce version is by far the best in town. The cozy 19-yearold bakeshop strikes the perfect balance in its dense cookies: each treat is soft with a slightly crunchy surface. 167 W. 74th St., 212-874-6080; 2167 Frederick Douglass Blvd., 646-455-0952
The Union Square chocolate haven serves up decadent creations such as The Fantastic Popsicle Chocolate Fondue—a vanilla ice cream popsicle accompanied by melted chocolate, wafer bits, and candied hazelnuts—as well as its Chocolate Pizza, which is served with ice cream and optional melting marshmallows. Plus, the chocolate filling the pipes that run through the restaurant makes me feel like I’m in a real Wonka’s chocolate factory. 841 Broadway, 646-467-8803; maxbrenner.com
Momofuku Milk Bar Momofuku Milk Bar has a Chocolate Malt Cake Truffle during Valentine’s Day that’s to die for. It is a very dense but tender ball of chocolate cake with a bit of salt (which saves it from being overly sweet), plus malted milk and malted milk crumbs. If you don’t want a whole slice of cake, the cake truffles are the ideal compromise. 251 E. 13th St., 15 W. 56th St., 561 Columbus Ave.
The NoMad Hotel
The library is so relaxing and romantic. Desserts such as Milk & Honey, shortbread with brittle and ice cream, are plated beautifully and served in the cozy space. The hotel also offers some tasty imbibes with a bit of spice such as my favorite, the Hot Lips cocktail, comprised of blanco tequila infused with jalapeño, mezcal, vanilla, pineapple, lemon, and cane syrup. 1170 Broadway, 212-796-1500; thenomadhotel.com
This is a cute spot for dessert and drinks. The bakeshop pairs up cupcakes such as the signature Sweet Revenge cupcake—a peanut butter cake with a ganache center and peanut butter fudge frosting— with wine and beer like Region 1 Malbec or Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier. 62 Carmine St., 212-242-2240