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.
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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.