December 15, 2003 | Ask Gael
To hell with moderation. I want holiday excess.

        You're in the right place at the Strip House, where it’s impossible to resist the monstrous hulk of the wondrous chocolate cake. Even carbophobes fold before its awesome beauty. Of course, I always share one portion with pals—but whom am I fooling? It’s five inches high and almost two pounds per serving. And one decorous bite inevitably leads to . . . four or five more. Better yet, there’s now a bravura of lusty plus-size cheesecake, an Amazon bride to the cacao-bean giant. In our crowd, no one wants to choose. Only both will do. The satiny cheesecake on a graham-crumb crust, a collaborative design of Lynn Butler in the pastry kitchen at the Strip House in Livingston, New Jersey, and René Lenger, her Manhattan confrère, has some sour cream and yogurt to (ahem) lighten it, and vanilla buttercream between the layers. Take that, Dr. Atkins.

13 East 12th Street 212 328 0000

Cafe Fiorello

Providing a continuous lifeline to homebound elderly New Yorkers