Earlier than this week, the final time I ate at Serendity3 was in all probability within the early Seventies, when my grandmother took me, and I believe my pal Patrick, to eat some type of overwhelming sundae. I’ll have gone once more when my daughters had been little, however no matter nostalgia I really feel concerning the place hasn’t actually been earned by expertise.
Actually, the restaurant and dessert palace, which was first opened in 1954 and at one time attracted the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Andy Warhol, Joan Rivers, and Jackie Kennedy, appears to have spent loads of its artistic and culinary vitality in recent times serving up stunts, just like the Most Costly Dessert (a $1000 Golden Opulence Sundae), the Largest Marriage ceremony Cake, and, simply this week, the Most Costly French Fries, clocking in at $200 a plate.
I lastly returned to the sugar-sweet hotspot this week, after I was invited to the post-vaccine, post-renovation grand reopening of the Higher East Facet establishment. And as I entered the newly revamped area, I used to be immediately reminded why I have been listening to about Serendipity for my total life. This place is bonkers.
It is decked out with Tiffany lamps, a funhouse mirror, disco balls, an enormous rail-station clock, film memorabilia, random indicators, and backyard sculptures—and the entire thing awash in pastel pinks and blues. It is easy to see why, for practically six many years, locals and vacationers alike have made the pilgrimage.
“It is so nice to be again,” stated chef Joe Calderon, who’s been the artistic director right here for 35 years. “It is so nice to have NYC coming again.”
Regulars could discover a couple of decor tweaks that had been swapped in throughout Serendipity’s 16-month closure. Glittering new Venitian chandeliers dangle upstairs, for instance, and there is some insane new Andy wallpaper within the bogs, and the Mobil-logo pegasus on the again wall now sports activities a neon unicorn horn. There’s extra seating now, too, with tables taking among the area up entrance the place the final retailer a part of the operation as soon as reigned. However the Warhol nook continues to be right here, as is the Marilyn nook, and the general vibe stays over-the-top.
The Serendipity “present” continues to be very a lot taking place. And that stimulating, special-occasion environment is critical when costs are this aggressive.
In the event you’re right here for a full meal, the menu is an extended record of high-priced crowd-pleasers, just like the Footlong Sizzling Canine, Calvin’s Traditional Caesar Salad, Rooster and Waffles, and Serendipity’s Chili Mac n’ Cheese. Throughout my tour of the renovated area the kitchen made me two sorts of burgers, a typical Cheeseburger with lettuce and tomato, and a brand new menu merchandise known as the Notorious Truffle Burger, which got here loaded with Boursin cheese and flecked with precise truffles. Each had been superb, as had been the accompanying fries, however these burgers begin at $25.
However you are actually right here for dessert, it is sort of the entire point–and what lots of people go for on this class, some 30 million of them at their final depend, is Serendipity’s well-known Frrrozen Sizzling Chocolate. There’s loads of legends swirling round this thick, candy concoction (apparently Jackie Kennedy requested for the recipe to serve at a White Home gala, and was denied), however all you really want to know is that it drinks like a first-rate milkshake.
My second dessert was the brand new It is My Birthday Cake Sundae, which encompasses a slab of alarmingly blue, alarmingly sugary pastry, three scoops of cake batter ice cream, whipped cream, and sprinkles, all of which, in a very pointless contact, arrived sitting in a puddle of white chocolate. It was presumably the sweetest factor I’ve ever eaten. Different such dishes embody an Outrageous Banana Break up, a slice of Southern Pecan Pie, and the Final Creme Cheesecake topped with scorching fudge and strawberries.
Serendipty3 is positioned at 225 East sixtieth Avenue, between Third and Second Avenues, and is at present open on Wednesday and Thursday from 5 p.m to 10:30 p.m., on Friday from 5:00 to 11:00 p.m., or Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.. Closed Monday and Tuesday (212-838-3531; serendipity3.com)