Desserts are coming up boozy, with spirits being poured straight into cupcake batters, cookie dough and piecrusts. First Prize Pies’ Allison Kave and Kumquat Cupcakery’s Keavy Blueher (pictured) joined forces for Butter & Scotch. Last November, the sugary power duo started plying Brooklyn Flea shoppers with their liquor-laced confections (mint julep cream pie, White Russian caramel corn) at their weekend-only stand—a precursor to their bakeshop–cocktail-bar hybrid, expected to open this spring. Baking legend Dorie Greenspan of Beurre & Sel also debuted a “Cocktail Collection” of mulled wine-infused shortbreads and port jam–topped cookies last September, and husband-and-wife team Matt and Allison Robicelli have been turning classic tipples such as Bellinis and hot buttered rum into spirits-soaked cupcakes at their bakery, Robicelli’s, since they launched in 2009. Even the Momofuku Milk Bar crew was tinkering with a recipe for a dirty martini cookie in late January, infusing the treat with dried olives and juniper sugar; it didn’t work out, but we don’t expect that to slow down the movement for alcohol-addled sweets.
This Prospect Heights pizza and pasta joint has a dedicated following among the neighborhood’s residents. The menu reads like any typical old-school Italian restaurant, but the focus on seasonal ingredients sets Amorina apart. The special “Will to Live” pizza changes nightly—one day, it could be made with fresh ramp pesto and mozzarella, and the next, it could be a meaty sausage pie. Classics like the margherita ($12) and tricolore ($15) pizzas make an appearance, as do more inventive options like the gorgonzola e frutta, with wine-soaked figs, caramelized pears and a drizzle of honey. If you want something other than a slice, there’s plenty of pasta to choose from—think rigatoni with cremini and porcini mushrooms ($15.50), baked ziti with smoked mozzarella, stewed tomatoes and bechamel sauce ($15) and eggplant parmigiana ($15). The restaurant serves up all kinds of traditional sweets for dessert, like ricotta cheesecake with orange and a flourless chocolate cake with caramel (both $7).
Venue says: “Will To Live Pizza: Ricotta, Roasted Winter Squash, Caramelized Onion, Speck”