Review | Desserts and Discoveries

TIA HERE with the scoop on where to get a nice scoop of ice cream, a cup of crème brûlée, or some macarons. Of course, there are tons of places in the city where you can get incredible desserts, but I thought I'd offer my two cents on some of the places I stumbled across. These are, by no means, famous New York City dessert locations, but if you're looking for somewhere well-known, there are already a thousand lists all across the internet. Instead, I hope to offer a little peek at some places you may wander past on the street and not know much about. It's a very specific list of three different places I tried out while in the city, and will hopefully give you a taste of the vast variety of dessert places that may not be on any must-see lists, but are just as worthy of a try.

crème brûlée and dirty chai latte

First up is Pasticceria Bruno Bakery & Cafe. I stopped by this place at random, hoping for a dirty chai on my day off. Not only did I get the drink, I also saw a crème brûlée in one of the displays--a really small cup of it for just $4 (I think... my memory of crème brûlée prices has never been famously good). The verdict? Everything was delicious. Do I think the chai latte could have been better? Probably, yes. It was a bit too light on the flavor for my taste, but the crème brûlée was perfection. For relatively decent NYC prices, I'd say that Pasticceria Bruno is well worth a visit. Grade-wise, it gets an A-. While the food and prices were great, the drink could have been the teensiest bit better and the outdoor seating area a little more impressive. (That's right, the majority of my critique lies in the established atmosphere. What a snob.)

sundaes and cones storefront

Next up is Sundaes and Cones, a cute little ice cream and pastry shop by Third Ave. While the aesthetic is just what the college student ordered--with all the clean adorableness of a French boutique, but with ice cream instead of clothes--the prices are not. Talk about an expensive ice cream place! Did half of my money go toward atmosphere? Maybe it did, but at least the ice cream was good. I tried a banana flavor for some bizarre reason and it was really delightful! Getting a cone is the same price as a cup, so I got to enjoy ice cream dripping all over my hands for no extra cost, but overall the prices are still staggering. To jump to the chase, I'd give the place a straight B. While the ice cream was pretty good and the aesthetic wonderful, the prices dragged this ice cream shop down a letter grade. Phew!

macarons on display at bisous, ciao. macarons

Finally is Bisous, Ciao. Macarons, a heavily and strangely punctuated macaron place. Expensive? Check. But my mom was in town so she was supplying the funds on this random stop. Bisous did a great job on presentation--putting the macarons I ordered into a box with careful slots (see below), adding paper padding for decoration, sealing it all up into a box, and putting the box into a bag, tied with a ribbon. You'd think I just bought a crystal elephant from Swarovski! And how did they taste? Amazing! I'm totally a sucker for macarons. I don't think this is the cheapest place in the city to get them, sure, but for typical macaron prices I don't think they're too out-of-this-world either. Thus, my very official grading scale lands Bisous at an A-. The one main thing that could've made my rating better? The service was very awkward. Maybe the girl was new, I'm not sure, but it was surprisingly uncomfortable when I asked her a few questions about the place--as in she did not say anything. That was kind of strange.

the boxed macarons; flavors from top to bottom: raspberry, rose, lemon, lavender and honey, blackberry, passion fruit

I strongly believe that if you live in the city and don't stop into a random shop at least once a week, you are missing out on the city experience! You don't even need to buy anything--you just need to explore. Sticking to what's typical or has already been "proved" by a long list of reviews and ratings is how you miss out on actual adventure, and if you aren't up for adventure, you aren't someone who is taking proper advantage of the city. That said, I hope you enjoyed my rated review--ha ha--of some of the dessert places I stopped in over the summer months.

For more, check out Tia's new blog!

Much love,


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