Got a sweet tooth? Go to either Little Italy or any part of the Village and you would be more than satisfied. For me, dessert is the total experience - the taste, the sweet aroma, the ambience of the bakery, accompanying beverages or add-ons, the lighting and temperature of the room, and the conversations.
Recently I went to la Lanterna Caffe in the West Village with a great selection of pastries and an even greater backyard garden. The garden was decorated with blue umbrella-like shades, and lights inside the shades illuminated the entire garden blue after it got dark....the desserts were savory, but not heavy. The entire experience imitates the elegance of European cafes....with the efficiency of American servers!
One of my favorite dessert bakeries is Ferrara in Little Italy. To consume the hazelnut chocolate pouch is a religious experience....contrary to the serene atmosphere of the abovementioned West Village cafe, it is boisterous, fast-paced, packed with tourists and locals alike, and a vastly entertaining place for people watching.
What I do not care for, is any concern for cholesterol level or portion size. I say let's savor the moment and think about cholesterol tomorrow!