"$25,000 Dessert" Restaurant Closed Due To Cockroaches, Sewage, Mouse Droppings, Fly Infestations

New York’s famous Serendipity 3 restaurant, home of the world’s most expensive dessert (the $25,000 “Frrozen Haute Chocolate”), has been shut down by the New York City Health Department after the restaurant failed two health inspections in a month.

The department says that inspectors found hundreds of live cockroaches, mouse droppings, fly infestations, and an improperly functioning sewage system. Delicious!

Department officials tell CBS 2 that both inspections revealed “rodent and fly infestation and conditions conducive to pest infestation, including stagnant water in the basement.”

The plumbing was reportedly so out of line that the “sewage disposal system [was] in disrepair or not functioning properly.”

On Wednesday night, the store, which has been featured in numerous Hollywood films, apparently kept open its wild zoo of filth for inspectors. The Department says the inspector came upon a live mouse, more than 100 live cockroaches, fruit flies, house flies, and piles of mouse dropping scattered about the restaurant.


Health Dept. Closes Shop Selling $25,000 Sundae [CBS2] (Thanks, Cigar!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. goodkitty says:

    Oh, so that’s why they piled on the whipped cream and gold… to hide the mouse droppings and roach bits in your sundae.

    Anyway, I’m really not surprised. At least at the local fast food place I know I’m eating recycled un-food.

  2. DrGirlfriend says:

    Oh, if only Gordon Ramsay had fixed that kitchen nightmare! Alas, I’ll never get to try down-payment-for-a-house sundaes now. :(

  3. So they just have to sell one dessert to pay for the remodeling.

  4. sonichghog says:

    So it really does not matter if you go to a high end place. Hmm….

  5. Ben Popken says:

    Nooooo! I have fond childhood memories of that place. Now ruined.

  6. @DrGirlfriend: OI!, you with the bracelet. Drop it you Donkey, and come here. You see this sewage? You’re gonna kill someone. Where’s my Bloody Risotto?

  7. mandarin says:

    Judging from the people sitting outside, that place sure looks classy……

  8. Szin says:

    They should just hit up Magnolia and mack on some cupcakes. After all, that bakery has got the “bomb frosting!”

  9. Morgan says:

    @Ben Popken: If they survived however many expections they had between your childhood and this month, you can take comfort in the idea that they were probably clean back when you used to go.

  10. RogueSophist says:

    $25,000? That’s not helping people Live the High Lifeâ„¢!

  11. ironchef says:


    This is INEDIBLE!!!!!

    Shut it DOWN!!!!!

  12. QWGHLM says:

    Thank GOD this place finally got shut down. Seeing as I live across the street, I’m always forced to go when company visits, and have always found it sub-standard at best.

    That, and the most obnoxious people seem to frequent it. There’s always a clash of the death stares between the parents trying to keep their toddlers from darting into traffic and the haute 20-something socialites who are there to be seen and drink chocolate powder + ice… I mean “Frrrrozen Hot Chocolate.”

  13. DrGirlfriend says:

    @GitEmSteveDave: I have the hots for Gordon Ramsay. So forceful! **fans self**

    I saw a cheftestant from Hell’s Kitchen at my local mall last weekend. He was wearing his “blue team” chef’s coat, and had lunch at Hot Dog on a Stick. True story.

  14. You have people paying $25,000 just for dessert and you can’t keep pests out or the plumbing under control?


  15. ancientsociety says:

    Wasn’t this place one of Oprah’s “favorite things” or something?

    If so, it just confirms my belief that she has really bad taste…

    @GitEmSteveDave: That nicely sums him up!

  16. UpsetPanda says:

    @QWGHLM: Why are you forced to go? I mean…isn’t it enough when someone visits you, you have the ability (nay, the right) to say, “Wait a second, I live here, I know where the good places are”? Certainly, when friends of mine come to town, we show them where to go and they don’t put up a fight on where they think they want to go, because they read 4 reviews of it on joe schmoe’s restaurant critique site.

  17. UpsetPanda says:

    Also I wanted to mention that I didn’t mean for my comment to sound as if Serendipity 3 is a GOOD place, goodness, if it was shut down it can’t be a good place, but I only meant that if it was such a crap place, why don’t people actually listen to you when you recommend other places to go?

    I’m surprised no one has called it Serendipsh—y 3 yet)

  18. liquisoft says:

    I’m so glad I didn’t eat there. It made my wife mad at me, but at least we avoided all of the disease/cockroaches/rodent feces.

  19. VaMPKiSS1 says:

    Okay this might sound a little strange, but… in NYC, most everywhere is roach-infested. That’s the reality, whether it’s a crappy hole in the wall restaurant or a 25 million dollar condo on the Upper East Side. The only difference is the effort and vigilance put into controlling them. This is probably just an episode of them getting lax with the pest-control methods recently, which is very easy in the city. Let it go for even a week and those damn things are all over the place. I’m sure it won’t take them long to get cleaned up and open again.

  20. Binaryslyder says:

    My wife and I were planning a trip to NY for the first time to go to Serendipity 3, Letterman and skating in rockefeller plaza. Considering the WGA strike and now this, its only a matter of time before the giant Xmas tree at Rockefeller center falls and kills someone. : ( now what?

  21. timmus says:

    Roach Mocha
    Vermin Vanilla
    Maggot Meringue

  22. synergy says:

    @VaMPKiSS1: Exactly. Which is why I have no interest in visiting places with such concentrations of human beings. *shudder*

  23. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    Maybe one of the cockroaches is actually the head chef. No, wait, wrong movie….

  24. charlah says:

    It’s all these little “extras” that let you know that you’re really getting your money’s worth….

  25. Nemesis_Enforcer says:

    @ancientsociety:LOL I just found out yesterday that a book I read as a kid was her book choice for the Month. Pillars of the Earth by Ken FolletT. I read it when I was 12 now she is recomending it, great book well worth the 1000 pages. Yes I know I was weird reading and such instead of causing a ruckus. I lived about a mile and a half from the nearest kid so I had to entertain myself. But I feel a little weird knowing I read something she is recomending.

  26. loganmo says:

    Gregor Samsa awoke one morning and found himself to be lying in an absrudly over-priced ice cream sunday…

  27. jodles says:

    they serve iced coffee in a chailce. and their forbidden broadway sundae is so good, although i’m not a fan of their overrated frozen hot chocolate. but i’m sad nonetheless. i love serendipity 3. i’m sure they will recover, as magnolia did when the health department shut them down.

  28. camille_javal says:

    @Nemesis_Enforcer: I had a professor in college whose book was chosen for the Oprah book club – she is actually very talented, and it’s a great book – so, it happens. Not like Steinbeck lost clout because she chose it.

  29. thatgirlinnewyork says:

    Does the chalice make the iced coffee something more special than that of the nearby bodega? Please! This place and Magnolia deserve to be shut down–for being both overrated and overrun by celebs and those who chase them.

  30. Dr.Ph0bius says:

    @VaMPKiSS1: That is 100% true, and not just in New York. Any major metropolitan area is the same… think about it. The bodega three doors down (in a connected building none the less) has roaches and rats. Why would the fact that a store front charges more be a detterent to pests? Only because the owner may spend more to control it. Ive never understood why so many people assume that a high price tag automatically equals proper food handling/storage/sanitation.

  31. mdktx1 says:

    Wow, “the New York City Heath Department.” I didn’t know they had a Heath Department, I thought they had a Health Department. Consumerist, clearly you need an editor, or a better editor. Please hire me as your editor, okay?

  32. Amelie says:

    @Ben Popken: This is my sister’s beloved restaurant since childhood. I just hope she doesn’t read this story. I’ll be optimistic and hope they solve the problem by the next time she visits.

  33. Nemesis_Enforcer says:

    @camille_javal: I know she does pick a few good ones, just most of them are pure fluff. But Pillars is an awesome book, I bought a copy for my sister who doesn’t read for pleasure. After cajoling her for a while she actually read it an enjoyed it. Now she reads quite a bit and has started encouraging my 9 year old Nephew to read for fun.

    I try to read to my 1 year old at least a few minutes every night. Sometimes he can sit still for 5 min sometimes longer. but I know being read to as a child really helped me to want to read. Now I have around 1000 paperbacks and hardcovers in the garage. I was going to donate the ones I don’t plan on re-reading to the library and Goodwill.

  34. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    @mdktx1: As a former copy editor, I can assure you that nobody hires copy editors who walk in off the street and start criticizing everything.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Schadenfreude has never been so sweet.


  36. mdktx1 says:

    I was just joking, gosh! I’m still in school anyway, so I wouldn’t have time for such a job…

  37. Bay State Darren says:

    Nice work Project Mayhem team! Give yourselves a pat on the back! This shows real dedication and- Hold on…are you telling me the restaurant caused this themselves?! Seriously? $25,000 dollars for a fucking desert and they can’t afford to clean the place or hire exterminators? Couldn’t they at least bribe the inspector?

  38. howie_in_az says:

    Now we know what happened to Serendipities 1 and 2.

    Perhaps Serendipity 4 will have better luck.

  39. glinters says:

    I worked at Godiva Chocolatier in NYC for a long time. High price means nothing- they don’t wash their strawberries before dipping them in chocolate. Whatever crap/pesticides is on them tastes great covered in chocolate. I am sure a cock-roach sundae is delish…

  40. Jesse in Japan says:

    Wait, they failed two health inspections? Did they just get a warning or something the first time? And, having gotten a warning, they didn’t do shit?

  41. @ironchef:
    @ancientsociety: I do love Hell’s Kitchen SOOO much. It’s my reality show guilty pleasure, and the only one I admit watching. There’s certain things that Gordon has ruined for me. I can NEVER hear or see risotto w/o hearing his voice in my head screaming. And usually the name Giacomo pops in there somewhere.

  42. amw5g says:

    You do know Godiva is owned by Campbell’s, yes (and Pepperidge Farm, too)? That’s right, those wacky soup folks. I take that as a better indicator of what Godiva really is, rather than how much I pay for it. Not that I’m not saying Campbell’s doesn’t make anything good, just an observation.

  43. katzeroo says:

    @loganmo: Dude, that was the funniest thing I read all day. Thanks for the laugh.

    Anyway, I’ve had dessert to Serendipity 3 before. You usually have to wait an hour in a line just to get in there and spend entirely too much on dessert. Roaches and mouse droppings? Most of the places in NY are fighting just to stay even. The inspectors dont have enough hours in the day to close all these places, and you know that someone somewhere is getting paid under the table to have their place stay open despite substandard conditions. Just another business day in NYC.

  44. spencegrad says:

    Although Serendipity talks an awful lot about their $25,000 dessert, they’ve never actually ever sold one. Management admitted as much on a recent appearance on TODAY.

  45. JollyJumjuck says:

    Maybe the mouse droppings and cockroaches were on the menu as Gourmet Palette items? Who is to say some people don’t enjoy the “le cafard avec la merde de souris” dish: We use only the finest baby cockroaches, dew-picked and flown from New York City, cleansed in the finest quality spring water, lightly killed, and then sealed in the succulent Swiss quintuple smooth treble cream mouse dropping envelope, and lovely frosted with dried dead fly carcasses. Certain to be a hit among certain subgroups of the glitterati!

  46. jewpiterjones says:

    My grandparents took me here 15 years ago. The only thing I remember about it is throwing up in the bathroom. I never went back.