This crepe is bursting with delicately sweet poached pears, topped with crushed toasted almonds, a dusting of confectioners sugar, and a drizzle of chocolate. Cafe Triskell * 33-04 36th Ave, Astoria * (718) 472-0612 * www.cafetriskell.com
There’s always room for dessert! At the Georgia Diner in Elmhurst there is plenty of it. From Tiramisu to Strawberry Shortcake and Black Forest Cake, there is something for everyone. Even a giant cupcake!
Georgia Diner, 86-55 Queens Blvd., Elmhurst, NY 11373
If you haven’t yet checked out Thymari (thee-MAH-ree), it’s rapidly revealing itself as a standout in the world of Greek food in Astoria—taking classics and preparing them with contemporary flare in a gorgeous dining room. This is their new dessert… caramelized peach with lime yogurt cream and fresh thyme (thymari is the Greek word for thyme). Thymari * 32-07 34th Ave, Astoria * 718-204-2880 * www.thymari.com
This sticky toffee date cake is so delicious that my friends got a whole sheet pan of it for my birthday party last year… it’s “La Torta del Piccolo Bambino Gesu Cristo” or the “Little Baby Jesus Cake” from Vesta Trattoria & Wine Bar * 21-02 30th Ave, Astoria * 718-545-5550 * http://www.vestavino.com/
At Gian Piero Bakery, the allure is both the patrons and the pastries. Pictured in the center is Pasticciotti, a Sicilian pastry that is essentially crust filled with pasty cream (their version) that is absolutely divine. The funny thing about pasticciotti (or as they say it over there, pas-tee-chowt) is that it looks so plain that if I wasnt told there was pastry cream inside, i wouldn’t even give it a second look.
The patrons of Gian Piero are mostly regulars and they hang outside the bakery just like they do in Italy. They sit outside and hang out with everyone who comes by - they even buy each other something from the bakery. It’s like a neighborhood bar, minus the alcohol and the bakery is open until 9pm -ish.
Call ahead if you are coming late, just to make sure they are still open.
Qatayef is a traditional dessert served in several Middle Eastern countries during Ramadan. The dough is fluffy like a pancake and folded in half, shaped like an empanada. It is filled either with cheese or nuts and is covered in a light, sweet syrup.
(Taken with Instagram at Al-sham Sweets and Pastries)
If you ever see a man standing next to a wooden barrel on the street in the summer, stop whatever you are doing and run over. It almost always means that someone made nieves the old-fashioned way, hand churning a fresh fruit base into a delicious and refreshing ice. I came across this man yesterday afternoon in front of Frank D O’Connor Playground on Broadway and 78th Street in Elmhurst. He was selling watermelon ice in two sizes: small for $1 and large for $2. He changes the flavors daily, and says he walks around Roosevelt Avenue and usually ends up in front of the playground after 5 pm. Real nieves are hard to find, so it’s good to know that there’s someone out there!
The best cheesecake in NYC is made by La Cheesecake in College Point, Queens. There are lines out the door especially on holidays. The fluffy cheesecake just melts in your mouth. In addition to the plain/strawberry/blueberry/pineapple/cheery cheesecake, they also offer flavors like amaretto, espresso, brownie, oreo, carrot, and this one, the red velvet cheesecake. Juniors cheesecake? Fugghedaboutit. (Taken with Instagram)
La Cheesecake 126-06 14th Avenue College Point, NY 11356 718-359-3718 Cash only.
Pleasantly surprised to find boba pearls as a topping at Mama Self-Serve Frozen Yogurt on 30th Ave. These deliciously delicate Asian orbs are filled with mango and strawberry juice. Added to the non-dairy mango or raspberry-pomegranate sorbet, they make for quite the refreshing explosion of flavor. Mama Frozen Yogurt, 35-04 30th Ave, Astoria; http://www.mamayogurt.com
Now that spring is here Mama’s Backyard—complete with this mural and statue of St. Francis of Assisi—is a favorite place for this Italian-American boy to take some sun. I like to grab a Mama’s Special from one of the DeBenedittis sisters at the neighboring Leo’s Latticini (46-02 104th St., Corona.) And I never forget to save room for dessert. Get there this week while they still have wonderful Sfinge di San Giuseppe. Mama Nancy DeBenedittis may be gone but her spirit lives on.
HaPpY 1st BiRtHdAy to Queens Comfort… It’s no secret they are one of my very favorite grub spots in all of New York City, and today they celebrate their one year anniversary. Serving brunch from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., they will have a d.j. spinning records to funk up the festivities. Pictured is their red velvet bread pudding with cream cheese frosting and a dusting of hot cocoa powder. Queens Comfort, 40-09 30th Ave., Astoria; (718) 728-2350; http://queenscomfort.blogspot.com/