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Serendipity 3, NYC

About 3 weeks ago I was watching The View, and they were talking about the best places around the country for ice cream.  One of them was Serendipity 3, located in NYC, and their most famous item on the menu is the Frrrozen Hot Chocolate.  They also have a Golden Opulence Sundae that’s topped with real gold flakes.  It costs $1,000 and requires a reservation 48 hours in advance. My friend Kara and I were planning a weekend girls’ trip to NYC while I was back visiting my parents, so of course we had to add Serendipity 3 to the list. We didn’t have 48 hours or $1,000, so the Golden Opulence was out of the question.

After a very long Saturday of sightseeing at many of the NYC’s hot spots, as well as a fantastic lunch at Summer Garden & Bar at Rock Center Cafe, we made our way to 5th Avenue and the Chanel store. When I walk into Chanel, I immediately feel like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, when the saleswoman totally looks down on her. The only thing I can afford in there is makeup and/or perfume, so at least I can walk out  with a Chanel bag.

We got there at about 5:45, after our stop at the Chanel store and before FAO Schwartz.  We figured we’d go, have a hot chocolate, and continue on the day.  Oh how wrong we were.  As we walked up, there were several people waiting outside.

Serendipity 3, NYC - Karyl's Kulinary Krusade

Yes, I realize the picture only shows 2 people, but there were about 10 outside.  We got to the hostess stand, and when Kara tried to get a table, the guy said “2 hours”.  Well that’s not what we expected–or wanted–to hear.   We asked about a reservation, but he didn’t seem to willing to want to help us.  We walked outside and assessed our options.  We thought about walking down to one of the fun bars on the street and having a cocktail while waiting the 2 hours.  We called Serendipity and asked for a reservation, but they only do limited reservations, and we missed our chance that night.  But then we finally realized it would make more sense to put our name on the list, go back to the hotel to shower & change, and head back.  So that’s what we did.  And besides, we were determined to go and eat, since the host wasn’t the most gracious person.

You have to understand, Kara walks really fast.  I walk fast because when I was a kid I had to, to keep up with my dad who’s 6’5″…but not at Kara speed.  Back in college I got tired of telling Kara to slow down, so when she got on her speed-walk mission, I would just stop, and wait for her to realize that I had.  It was really quite entertaining.  But, in this instance her speed came in handy. We walked the 15 blocks back to the hotel in a world-record time of about 20 minutes.

About 1 3/4 hours later we hopped in a cab back to Serendipity.  Good thing we had put our name on the list, because the wait was still 2 hours for people walking in.  We were seated upstairs.  The atmosphere is so fun here!  It’s a great old building, with cool furniture and lots of awesome decorations.

As we waited for our food we noticed that everyone working there, from the host to the servers to the bus boys–they were all men.  Not a single female working in sight. I asked the waiter, and he said that it used to be 50-50, but the women developed shoulder problems, carrying the large trays with all the food on it.  Some people might think it’s sexist, but after seeing them walk up the stairs carrying those trays, I can understand.

We decided to start with the sweet & tangy wings.  Thankfully the waiter included extra napkins because, as he said “you’ll thank me later”.

Serendipity 3, NYC - Karyl's Kulinary Krusade

First of all, the blue cheese.  It was homemade, and phenomenal.  We were both happy they didn’t give us more, because we would have continued to eat it.  The wings were really good too.  The sweet & tangy was just that, and the char added a lot of great flavor.  And we needed both the extra napkins and Kara’s wet-naps.

For my entree I had the “Ultimate BLT” on challah bread.

Serendipity 3, NYC - Karyl's Kulinary Krusade

Wow, there was a lot of bacon!  It was cooked a little more than I would normally like, but it was still really good.  I should have taken a picture of the sandwich once I put it together because it was possibly the hugest thing I’ve ever seen.  I could barely get my mouth around it…but I took on the challenge, and won.  After a few bites I gave up, and took apart the sandwich and ate it separately.

Kara had the foot long hot dog with chili, cheese & onions.

Serendipity 3, NYC - Karyl's Kulinary Krusade

I didn’t taste it, but she said it was really good. It was huge, and I really think it was bigger than a foot.

Then came the crowning jewel, the Frrrozen Hot Chocolate.  Yes, there’s 3 R’s in the name, and it’s trademarked.

Serendipity 3, NYC - Karyl's Kulinary Krusade

I’m glad we decided to share one, because there’s no way either one of us could have finished one ourselves.  Well, “no way” may be a little excessive, but we decided not to test it.  Wow, it was really good.  I was kind of expecting more of a creamy texture, so I was surprised with the first bite that it was more like liquid frozen ice.  Of course, about halfway through, I got a serious brain freeze.  But it was well worth it.

Will I go back?  Yes!  The girls next to us got the chicken pot pie and it looked amazing.  But next time we will make a reservation well in advance.

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James Griffin

Monday 9th of September 2019

My wife was employed there in the early 90's. Stephen Bruce rarely hires women due to the weight of the serving trays being heavily loaded to speed up service and a little due to his sexuality. My wife was one of the first and few women he hired due to she impressing him with her amount of experience in luxury dining establishments and also that she is nearly six feet tall and very powerfully built.


Friday 13th of December 2019

After seeing them move those trays, plus the narrow stairs, it doesn't surprise me that the servers are all men. I wouldn't be able to do it at all!

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