Red Velvet Cake
Laurie and Leslie Coaston, Kingfish Café
Three tiers of divine inspiration, stacked in a slice as big as a dinner plate and red as your beating heart. Kingfish Café sister-owners Laurie and Leslie Coaston memorialize their family’s history by re-creating this moist, tri-storied Southern classic—kissed with chocolate, bound with thick buttercream frosting, topped with caramel-drizzled whipped cream, then embellished with fanned strawberries. One slice will feed four bellies—and innumerable fantasies.
Secret Ingredient Red food coloring. (Nope, it’s not beet juice.)
Bennie Sata, Tango
Tango debuted this classic before anyone was putting cayenne in chocolate, and from the city’s first bite it swooned clean away. Thus seasoned, the bittersweet chocolate mousse takes on the qualities of a deep black mole—feisty and intense when contrasted with its nest of burnt meringue, its drizzle of caramel, and its crunchy complement of toasted almonds.
Secret Ingredient Tequila in the caramel sauce, to subdue the sweetness.
Tom’s Famous Triple Coconut Cream Pie
Tom Douglas, The Dahlia Lounge and Dahlia Bakery
It’s not on the menu at every Tom Douglas restaurant, but—don’t tell anyone—this Dahlia stunner is available at all of them. “Everyone asks for it,” marvels Douglas. The Dahlia Bakery churns out 250 of these pies a week, not to mention the minis and bite-sized versions.
Secret IngredientCoconut in the crust.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich
Toby Matasar, Eats Market Café
It’s every kid’s summertime favorite, crafted to a connoisseur’s standards. Eats co-owner and pastry chef Toby Matasar takes one dessert-plate-sized cookie, brown-sugar-chewy without any pesky crumble, packs on a good half of an inch worth of her own fathoms-deep vanilla bean ice cream, tops it with another cookie, then presents it halved on a plate with a ramekin of chocolate dipping sauce. You could share it. But you won’t.
Secret Ingredient “Love,” insists co-owner and pastry chef Toby Matasar. Well, love and Callebaut chocolate pistoles.