Growing up in New York City, Serendipity 3 was the place to go for lunch or ice cream as a teenage girl. Only problem was, I was never a fan. Maybe because I grew up going to Rumpelmeyer's, the other ice cream place for birthdays and special occasions.
A few years ago, I went to New York with a friend who had never been, acting as tour guide. The first place she wanted to go was Serendipity 3. "Ohhhh, I loved the movie. I have to have a frrrozen hot chocolate (their trademarked spelling, not a typo)", she shrieked.
Yes, that damned movie, Serendipity starring John Cusack and Kate Beckensale had revived interest in Serendipity 3 for young adult women who longed for romance and ice cream. We went and perused the menu, meant for monied pre-teens. Giant hot dogs, burgers, and that ubiquitous frrrozen hot chocolate (now in multiple flavors and sizes. Also available in a handy take-home kit). I never got the whole frrrozen hot chocolate thing -- is it hot chocolate or something frozen? It reminded me of the famous George Carlin musing on "jumbo shrimp".
"I'll have a Pinot Grigio," I said to the server, forgetting where I
was. "We don't serve wine, or any alcohol", he reminded me, then
suggested a frrrozen hot chocolate. Grrrr.
In a foul mood, I
picked at my food as my friend Donna ate her hot dog, getting it out of
the way before she could justify the real reason for coming to this
place -- the frrrozen hot chocolate for two. She loved it. I was less
Like many New York restaurants, Serendipity 3 has
opened an outpost in South Beach, which makes sense because Katie
Holmes and daughter Suri spend a lot of time in Miami and need a place
to go. I went there for lunch yesterday, since I was in the area.
thing I noticed was the bar. Stocked with alcohol. I was handed a drink list along with my very Alice-In-Wonderland-ish menu of whimsically
named food items like the Don't Drop You Skirt Steak Frites ($19).
on the menu is the famous Opulence Sundae ($1,000), topped with an
edible gold leaf, as well as a more-affordable Serendipity South Beach
Treasure Chest ($88), a sundae for four. On the regular menu was the
usual list of frrrozen hot chocolates ($10 for one person/$15 for two),
but my eyes strayed to something so wonderful, so enticing, I almost
cried with joy.
The drink menu listed three different frrrozen
hot chocolates....with booze! Angel, the bartender recommended the Black
Nijinski ($14), made with vodka and Kahlua. I tore through my SoBe
burger ($15) in order to get to the grand finale.
I watched as
Angel placed the old-fashioned malted glass in front of me. Along with
the whipped cream and dark chocolate shavings, I spotted a marbled
chocolate cup. Angel produced a bottle of Castries rum creme from St.
Lucia and poured a generous shot into the edible container. I was smitten.
frrrozen hot chocolate itself tasted like a chocolate granita more
than a hot chocolate. Not too sweet, cold, and refreshing, I took a
second sip. Then a third. Then poured the rum creme into the rest and
slurped it down. So much for self control.
The moral to the
story? Frrrozen hot chocolate may be great for girls, but it takes booze
in the blender to capture the heart of a woman.