This could happen to you: luckiestduck was invited to dinner, cuisine unknown, and asked to bring dessert. The hosts love cake and chocolate. So what to do?
sam1's go-to source for sweets is Black Hound, whose orange cheesecake goes nicely with just about anything. Black Hound also bakes a chocolate-raspberry cake that's delicious yet not "sinisterly chocolate-y."
For a rich, unique conversation starter, he suggests a cake from Momofuku Milk Bar, where the current lineup includes chocolate chip with passion fruit curd and banana cream with hazelnut and gianduja fudge.
Or, thinking outside the cake box, sam reminds us that Key lime pie from Steve's is a Chowhound perennial. And you don't have to trek to Brooklyn to get one; it's sold at Citarella, among other places.
For something cakelike that isn't cake, daffyduck recommends Levain Bakery's big, soft chocolate chip walnut cookies, "very cakey and chocolatey with a beautiful crispy exterior." Warm them up and serve them with gelato from Screme.
Other excellent frozen options are gelato or sorbet from Il Laboratorio del Gelato or Ciao Bella, firni notes.
Of course, hounds can't talk dessert without talking cupcakes. Two favorite stops, downtown and uptown, are Sugar Sweet Sunshine and Two Little Red Hens (try the deeply chocolatey blackout variety).
And for something easy, and easily portable, consider a selection of chocolate truffles from the Chowhound mecca Kee's.
To all this sweet talk, khoffdenver adds a wistful plea: "Can I come to this party?"
Black Hound [East Village]
170 Second Avenue (at E. 11th Street), Manhattan
Momofuku Milk Bar [East Village]
1593 First Avenue (at E. 13th Street), Manhattan
Steve's Authentic Key Lime Pies [Red Hook]
204 Van Dyke Street (near Ferris Street), Brooklyn
Citarella [Greenwich Village]
424 Sixth Avenue (at E. Ninth Street), Manhattan
Levain Bakery [Upper West Side]
167 W. 74th Street (near Amsterdam Avenue), Manhattan
Screme [Upper West Side]
2030 Broadway (between W. 69th and 70th streets), Manhattan
Il Laboratorio del Gelato [Lower East Side]
95 Orchard Street (between Broome and Delancey streets), Manhattan
Ciao Bella [Nolita]
285 Mott Street (between Houston and Prince streets), Manhattan
Sugar Sweet Sunshine [Lower East Side]
126 Rivington Street (between Essex and Norfolk streets), Manhattan
Two Little Red Hens [Upper East Side]
1652 Second Avenue (at E. 86th Street), Manhattan
Kee's Chocolates [Soho]
80 Thompson Street (between Spring and Broome streets), Manhattan