Summer is about a lot of things, but one of the best aspects of these long, hot days can be found in the sheer number of ice cream shops that have popped up — and who doesn’t love a cold, creamy cone? Though New York City never lacks for sweet treats, this summer brings even more frozen goodies into the mix, from innovative flavors by an ice cream guru to housemade desserts on the go to refreshing ices, which, we know doesn’t technically count as ice cream, but they are just as satisfying.
Nicholas Morgenstern, the ice cream genius behind The General Greene and Goat Town’s dessert programs, brings his take on a soda shop to the Lower East Side. Unlike a classic ice cream parlor, this incarnation will focus on texture-driven, small-batch flavors that take what you know about the sweet treat and give it a contemporary twist. In the airy, white-walled facility, expect to find flavors including Fernet black walnut, lemon chocolate and burnt honey vanilla. All options — save for sorbets such as champagne mango and passion fruit apricot — are done Philadelphia style, meaning they are made with cream, milk, sugar and salt, and contain no other preservatives or stabilizers.
Fans of this family-run shop in Prospect Heights are happy to hear a new facility in Gowanus, Brooklyn, opened on July 15. The new venue is 3,600 square feet, enough space to quadruple the company’s production of locally sourced ice cream in flavors such as bourbon-laced butterscotch pudding, ooey-gooey butter cake and toffee bar crunch, all which you can get in its scoop shop. Other features to this roomy addition include ice-cream-making classes and an area for private parties and events, both inside and on the roof deck. As a bonus, true Ample Hills followers can also pick up its new cookbook, Ample Hill Creamery: Secrets and Stories from Brooklyn’s Favorite Ice Cream Shop, the perfect Brooklyn souvenir and blueprint to eating handcrafted ice cream all year long, no matter where you are.
Though this new, 170-seat restaurant in Gramercy doesn’t fall into the category of an ice cream parlor, it does make frozen treats in house that you can eat after a meal or take to go. The sweet goodness is served in a disposable cup with a biodegradable spoon, so you can even just stop in at the bar and order one to bring to a nearby park. Specialty sundaes include mint-chocolate ice cream with fresh macaroons and chocolate sauce, a refreshing apple-ginger sorbet and the decadent dulce de leche with espresso brownie — though these can change on a whim by executive pastry chef Cory Colton.
Recently opened in Carroll Gardens, this ice cream plant is the result of owner Stef Ferrari’s dedication to the dessert, which she used to make on her Cuisinart at home before getting serious about the stuff through books and Penn State’s intense ice-cream program. Originally, this California transplant had plans to open a craft brewery in Brooklyn, but lucky for us she went the ice-cream route and started Hey Rosie, a factory named after her mother that churns out selections such as Mexican muscovado caramel and salted lemon cream. The downside: You can only hit up this tiny shop on weekends when the facility does public tastings. But, given that every flavor is made from scratch, with locally sourced ingredients, and pasteurized in house, it’s worth the visit for a delicious, 100 percent New York treat.
Folks walking along the High Line this summer can cool off with a classic New Orleans-style snowball from a special pop-up cart outside Bubby’s comfort-food restaurant. Though technically a snowball isn’t ice cream — it’s shaved ice drizzled with housemade syrup — this frozen treat does fulfill a lot of the hot-weather dessert needs. It’s sweet, cold, refreshing, and, if you really want a bit of creamy richness, it can be topped with condensed milk. Each order comes in a Chinese takeout container, and you can choose from a variety of flavors that include chocolate and sour currant. Find the cart outside Bubby’s daily from 12 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Photos Courtesy of Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream, Lucy Schaeffer and Hay Rosie Craft Ice Cream Co.