Dish: Frrrozen Hot Chocolate
Restaurant: Serendipity 3
Price Tag: $8.95
I live in New York City, and, as you can likely imagine, there are literally thousands of places on this island at which you can enjoy a stellar dessert. From Sex and the City-approved Magnolia Bakery cupcakes and Mister Softee shakes and sundaes to the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink Compost Cookie at Momofuku Milk Bar, there is something here to please just about every sweet tooth. For an extra indulgent, chilly, chocolatey treat, however, there is only one place to go: Serendipity 3 for its Frrrozen Hot Chocolate.
Tucked away on East 60th Street, this below-street-level dive is bursting with antiques; tall grandfather clocks, colorful mirrors and stained glass chandeliers decorate its interior, while countless chotchkies and collectables are sprinkled about to fill any remaining wall space. And while Serendipity 3 features a full menu, its lunch and dinner options – typical American fare – are seriously overpriced and under seasoned. Despite its best intentions to be more than an after dinner spot, Serendipity remains first and foremost a reliable dessert destination, with consistently indulgent and diet-breaking sweet treats, the best known, of course, being the Frrrozen Hot Chocolate.
What’s so great about it, you’re asking? After all, it does just look like a bowl of ice cream and whipped cream, right? That’s just it; it is what you cannot see above that gives this dessert its character and undeniable flavor.
Let’s start with the name: Frrrozen Hot Chocolate (yes, three Rs are necessary). At once mouth-numbingly cold and still warm with velvety whipped cream, it is exactly what it claims to be. An icy yet creamy and smooth chocolate ice cream mixture floating in a chocolate milk bath is generously topped with a hearty dollop of whipped cream, the softest and most perfect version of itself, and fine chocolate shavings for unquestionable decadence. The rich milk chocolate flavor resonates through each layer of this dessert, with the ice cream, milk bath, and shavings adding to its intense sweetness. As the consistency of the Frrrozen Hot Chocolate is similar to that of a thick milk shake, both straws and spoons are an appropriate means of approaching this monstrosity, although simple slurping achieves a quicker brain freeze, while a spoon offers the option of dunking into the whip.
Maybe you don’t go to Serendipity 3 for the people, – hoards of fanny pack-flaunting tourists – and maybe the rest of the food on the menu is just average, but go for the Frrrozen Hot Chocolate because it is different, in all of the best possible ways. Join the ranks of Oprah, John Cusack (in Serendipity), Michelle Pfeiffer (remember One Fine Day?) and Suri Cruise by visiting Serendipity 3, and treat yourself to a chocolatey-sweet something.
Maria Russo is a senior at Barnard College and despite frequent attempts, has never been able to finish an entire Frrrozen Hot Chocolate by herself.