Stock split

An old-fashioned fountain favorite hits it big
JERRY ANNE DI VECCHIO

From San Francisco's swank Fifth Floor restaurant to New York's cozy Lobster Club, a stock item from drugstores and sweetshops of yesteryear is making a significant comeback: the banana split.

Surprisingly enough, even the most imaginative chefs stick pretty close to the basic ingredients: bananas, ice cream, gooey sauces (chocolate, caramel, butterscotch), crunchy nuts or candies, and whipped cream ― even the cherry on top. The presentation may be fancier, the ice cream homemade, the sauces richer and thicker ― but that's it in the way of gourmet amendments. It's hard to improve on perfection.