Al Di La
Five extra-crisp fritters to an order, their taste remarkably similar to Hawaiian malassadas, right down to the slightest hint of nutmeg. Only Al Di La's are more refined, delicate, and light with fresh ricotta folded into the batter. Spoon over the smooth liquid dark chocolate and ploofs of thick, freshly whipped cream.
A sundae made for two, with whipped cream one whisk short of butter. Vanilla ice cream by the ever-reliable Haagen Dazs. Crushed walnuts, a cherry, and one milk chocolate cow to finish. Capture it all in one bite, and it comes together beautifully—the walnut crunch sinking into heady fudge-laced cream, a fine mouthful bound by chilly, melting vanilla ice cream.
Kyotofu's Mochi Chocolate Cake is served warm and, by virtue of the mochi, has an extra chew, a tenderness only achieved with the addition of mochiko powder. On the bottom is kuromitsu creme anglaise, and on top, a quenelle of matcha shiro-an (a puree of white beans and sugar). Here the shiro-an is lighter than the norm, with the texture of thick whipped cream. It's blended with enough matcha powder to turn it a deep green, and wonderful enough to serve as a dessert on its own.
Perhaps my single favorite dessert in the city. Enrobed in toasted Sicilian pistachios, Brooks Headley's Chocolate Ricotta Tortino harbors a cool center of ricotta cream flanked by dark chocolate cake, two feathery moist layers glazed over in a silky ganache. Extra virgin olive oil gelato is not simply a side but an essential component, just a notch bolder and saltier than Otto's.
Otto's Olive Oil Copetta is a constant on the dessert menu, but accompaniments to the The Best Gelato Sundae in the World change with the season. Lemon curd, tangerine sorbet, and candied kumquats, in the summer. Pomegranates, fennel brittle, and blood orange for the fall. Go now, and find pignoli brittle with pineapple-rosemary marmellata, and lime curd. If this isn't love, then I don't know what is.