It's a classic Asian strawberry shortcake (think light sponge cake layers and soft whipped cream), but with a twist: tender and deep green matcha sponge cake layers in place of the typical vanilla. There are plenty of fresh strawberries, perfectly halved and tucked into the cream, the berries a perfect complement to the smooth but prominent matcha flavors.
Lady M is most famous for its Mille Crêpes, though other sweets at this Upper East Side cake boutique deserve equal attention. Case in point: a towering Strawberry Mille Feuille, in which airy vanilla sponge cake and a full-bodied cream custard are layered with strawberries and shatter-prone puff pastry. The best bite is when you capture both the chilled custard folded with whipped cream and puff pastry in the same bite. This Strawberry Mille Feuille is regularly rotated with a Banana Mille Feuille, which is served in wedges, and replaces the sponge cake with double the fresh custard cream and banana slices tucked in the middle.
At Caffe Falai, the Strawberry Tart may be petite, but the flavors and quality make it worth every penny. The tart shell is equal parts flaky and buttery, with a light crunch and always a perfect golden brown, with just a lick of vanilla bean pastry cream tucked in the center. It's covered with fresh whipped cream and a crown of halved strawberries, lightly glazed over and finished in toasted pistachios. A fine example of how simplicity is indeed best. In prime summer months, they also do a blueberry version, but I'm still partial to the strawberry—a classic.
No maple syrup tops the house waffle at Buvette, but with a serious mountain of halved strawberries and a heap of freshly whipped cream, I guarantee you won't miss the syrup. The waffle is crisp on the outside, baked a deep golden brown with an interior that's more hearty than light and airy. What you do taste, though, is the butter, which comes through clearly—making this one indulgent waffle. Spread the whipped cream into the deep grid pockets; there are enough strawberries to have one in every bite. It's small, not quite a breakfast or lunch, but makes for one excellent post-meal sweet.
ChikaLicious Dessert Club
At ChikaLicious Dessert Club, marshmallows are sold by the cube, a set of eight pieces of $5.95. Like everything at ChikaLicious, these are adorable, from the light pastel shade to the roll in toasted, flaked coconut. Each color represents a different, very subtle flavor: strawberry, kiwi, vanilla, and lemon. Texturally, they're the lightest marshmallows I've had in the city, the texture delicately hovering between fluffy and foamy.