Spot Dessert Bar

Opening Hours
Today: 2pm–12am
13 St. Marks Place
Spot Dessert Bar 1 Dessert Gluten Free East Village

The folks at Spot Dessert Bar are mavericks of dessert. With desserts specially created by the Iron Chef of Thailand, Ian Kittichai, and Mark Lee, the managing partner, the eatery offers each of its customers an astounding tour of taste. The dessert tapas themselves are a blend of eastern and western flavors inspired by Chef Kittichai’s travels around the world. While speaking with Mark, we learned that the little desserts are called “tapas,” not because of the size, but because the idea is to order a few and share. Along with dessert tapas, Spot serves cupcakes, macarons, cookies, and bubble tea. They truly have something for everyone especially with the addition of new dairy-free and gluten-free options.

The desserts change based on the seasons and we were lucky to be able to try the new fall menu as well as their signature dishes, and each one was a delightful surprise. Their two best sellers are the Golden Toast, with honey butter, condensed milk ice cream, and strawberries, and the Chocolate Green Tea Lava Cake, a soft dark chocolate cake with green tea ganache and green tea ice cream. The Golden Toast was warm with a flaky, soft interior, while the Chocolate Lava Cake was one of the best the Manhattan Sideways team had ever tasted, perfectly heated and well paired with the strong matcha flavor. Mark told us that it is also one of the top 10 most Instagrammed foods in NYC, which we did not find surprising, since each dish is a piece of art.

The fall desserts were all equally tasty and creative—The gluten-free matcha cremeux with its toasted rice ice cream was unexpected and simply delicious. The vegan Coconut Monkey bread was light, fluffy, and topped with coconut ice cream with basil seeds. The real stand out was the Black Truffle savory dessert. None of the Manhattan Sideways team had ever had anything like it. It consists of black truffle, hazelnut dacquoise, and apricot sauce, and was the clear winner, especially for those without a strong sweet tooth. We drifted between different desserts as Mark told us more about Spot’s future plans and his experience with the company.

Mark started as a server at Spot, which opened five years ago, and now is part-owner. He originally worked in magazine design and now puts his aesthetic eye to good use on the culinary design of Spot. He is inspired by everything—restaurant uniforms, menus, interior décor, and other aspects. Mark informed us that Spot is planning on expanding a few stores down. At first, the company used the space as a take-out café, but wanted to stay true to the dine-in nature of the original. Mark wants “customers to feel cozy when they come to Spot,” and so will decorate the addition in a very similar way. We agreed that the wood-panelling and warm interior is very homey, creating a perfect atmosphere in which to fill up on dessert.

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More places on 8th Street

Lost Gem
Arts and Crafts Beer Parlor 1 Bars Beer Bars Greenwich Village

Arts and Crafts Beer Parlor

What a find... down a flight of stairs from street level on 8th Street, Arts and Crafts Beer Parlor is the "antithesis of a sports bar. " Artisan and craft beer are brought together in a friendly environment that certainly had us feeling like we were right at home. The Parlor is also named for the Arts and Crafts movement, “a cultural revolt against the ideals of industrialization. ”When we visited, we spoke to Robert, one of the two owners, with whom we thoroughly enjoyed chatting. Robert is an internationally recognized speaker and writer on dining out and traveling with special diets (he co-authored the series Let’s Eat Out! ), and he also has a background in acting and producing on Broadway. He told us that the other owner, Don, has an impressive resume working with the FBI and counterterrorism efforts both in New York and around the world - which left us wondering what brought this dynamic duo together as friends and eventually co-owners. Robert informed us it was a love of American Craft Beer and the visual and performing arts... and that they actually met enjoying a pint of beer in Manhattan. Just as intriguing as its owners, the interior of Arts and Crafts is beautifully designed; the sophisticated wallpaper is custom made by Bradbury and Bradbury, and the soft green and beige pattern was Frank Lloyd Wright’s favorite, supposedly. The constantly changing art is displayed along the wall opposite the bar, and an exposed brick wall and fireplace give the parlor a true “extension of your living room” feel. Described by Robert, as the “Bugatti of beer systems, ” the twenty plus beers the Parlor keeps on tap rotate monthly and are kept by this state of the art system at a refreshing 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Robert also astounded us with how small the carbon footprint of the Parlor is — he told us they are very conscious of keeping things compostable and earth-friendly. In addition to their rotating display of art from both established and up-and-coming artists, the Arts and Crafts Beer Parlor also hosts a monthly lecture series on the subjects of art as well as culinary topics. We could not get enough of how interesting this place is — both the concept of art and beer coming together and the two fascinating minds behind it.

More Gluten Free nearby

Lost Gem
Risotteria Melotti 1 Brunch Italian Gluten Free East Village

Risotteria Melotti

Biking with my husband on a beautiful August day, I stopped short when I noticed something new and picturesque on 5th Street. It was three o’clock in the afternoon, but I had been holding out until I discovered the perfect place to grab a bite to eat, and I certainly landed in an ideal spot. The rustic charm indoors, with replicas of the farm equipment used in Italy hanging from the ceiling, captured our hearts immediately, but it was the food – the outstanding rice dishes – that solidified Risotteria Melotti indefinitely on my list of top restaurants to recommend. Since the restaurant was quiet at this odd hour, we were able to chat casually with the staff throughout our meal, and we learned not only about the history of the restaurant, but also about the world of rice. Back in 1986, a couple began producing rice on one acre of land in Verona, Italy. Almost three decades later, together with their three sons, Rosetta and Giuseppe now farm 544 acres of land, all devoted to growing award-winning rice that is sold the world over. There are basically two different textures of the grain that they produce. Vialone, the more traditional rice, is rich in proteins and vitamins and, because it absorbs liquid better, is used for their delicious risottos. Carnaroli rice, “considered one of the best in the world, ” is more readily used in salads because it remains al dente when cooked, adding a chewiness to the superb insalata di riso that we shared. We both marveled at the combination of chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, roasted red and yellow peppers, capers, fresh mozzarella and, of course, brown rice. When we first sat down, a bread basket was placed on the table. Their take on focaccia was very good, but I could not stop sampling their rice cakes throughout our meal – the basic recipe is made in Italy and then flown here to be tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh rosemary and then baked for fourteen minutes. I cannot say enough about how amazing the second dish that we tried tasted. We never knew that you could make polenta from anything but cornmeal, but we had our eyes opened to something new and wondrous when we had our first taste of polenta fritta con caciottina – a fried rice polenta with mushrooms and cheese that was perfectly moist in the middle with an added crunch on the outside. Every mouthful was rich and heavenly. This brand new restaurant – the first outside of Italy – serves about thirty people, making for an intimate setting, especially when evening falls, the lights are dimmed and the candles are lit. Up front there is a little “shop” that sells many of their rice products. The staff explained that the family has made an across-the-board decision to only offer Melotti’s gluten-free rice merchandise in the States. Thus, anyone eating gluten-free can come to their restaurant and be served a carefree, excellent meal. Anyone fortunate enough to live in the area can either have their food delivered to them in their home or office, or stop by, browse the menu, and take it to go. I have no doubt that we would be eating a lot more rice if we lived in the East Village, but we will visit as often as we can.

Lost Gem
Pure Green 1 Juice Bars Gluten Free East Village

Pure Green

The Manhattan Sideways Team was greeted with warm hugs by Nikki Schlanger, the marketing director, who brightly declared that she is “a hugger” and that she prefers to go by the title “lady of the house. ” She was excited by the prospect of us trying everything and made it very clear that she believes in this store. Pure Green is not just a juice shop: There is a wide variety of yummy goodies on the menu, including smoothies. According to Nikki, the Banana Nut smoothie tastes like “Magnolia’s Banana Bread Pudding, ” and the Blue Royale tastes like “a Girl Scout Cookie, ” each for under three hundred calories. They also have a variety of nut milks - cashew milk, almond, milk, coconut milk, and a matcha green milk, which, we learned, can also be used for cooking. Nikki called out “Ladies, let’s do shots! ” referring to the immunity boosting ginger shots, which are especially good for the fall and winter months. Everything is made in house - the nuts milks, the nut butter, and the juices themselves. There are no preservatives, and so each juice has a three day shelf life. Pure Green also offers juice cleanses. What impressed us and sets the business apart from other juice places is that they offer complimentary cleanse coaches. Kayla, the manager of the store and one of the “Pure Coaches, ” told us that the store is “her baby, ” while setting up some juices for us to sample. She spoke with us about the cleanses and the reasons to do one. We learned that they give the digestive system a rest from having to process toxins such as alcohol, fatty foods, and sugar. Each juice contains the equivalent nutrition of five pounds of produce. A cleanse also reestablishes pH balance: Kayla explained that the body is often too acidic which leads to lethargy, dull skin and hair. A cleanse will re-alkalize the body, and should ultimately be done once a month, like “changing the oil in your car. ” “We are all about transitioning people from an unhealthy to a healthy lifestyle. We’re all about baby steps, ” Kayla said. With the help of a “Pure Coach, ” customers gets a personal cleanse based on flavor and intensity preferences. By the end of Kayla’s lesson, Manhattan Sideways members who had never considered doing a juice cleanse were starting to feel tempted. Each of the smoothies and juices we tried were equally flavorful. Nikki explained that Pure Green gets its açaí straight from the source, the raw cacao from Equador, and the rest of the produce from local and organic farms. She let us in on the secret, that zucchini is the key ingredient in many of the green juices, as it makes the flavor smooth and silky without any bitterness. Everything is gluten and dairy-free and there is no HPP, which stands for high-pressure pasteurization. “We don’t cut corners, cuz that’s how you kill people, ” Nikki told us. Not only are they doing good things for the health of those who pop in, including the NYU student crowd, Pure Green donates 1% of their profits to charities that help bring clean water to the world. “We’re saving the world, ” Nikki said with a grin.