NYC’s Best Ice Cream List Adds Two New Contenders
True story: I've eaten ice cream every day for just about sixteen years now. And, for the record, with as much frequency as is normal for all of my (many) years before then. I started the daily routine for a very specific reason, and though pretty much everything else has changed since then, the ice cream habit gloriously remains. The point, though, is this: I've tried a LOT of different brands and purveyors in my day, and am unforgiving when it comes to anything mediocre or worse. Which is why I'm genuinely thrilled that two brand-new, highly-anticipated parlors–Ice & Vice on the Lower East Side, MilkMade Tasting Room in Carroll Gardens–not only live up their promise, but need to be immediately included on any Best NYC Ice Cream lists.
Lower East Side's Ice & Vice
I first tried Ice & Vice at last summer's Vendy Awards, and their scoop of Milk Money (which is toasted milk with sea salt and chocolate ganache) was the best thing I ate that day. Ice & Vice have been setting up stands at various venues and events, but their storefront on East Broadway near Clinton Street allows owners Paul Kim and Ken Lo to fully realize their ice cream dream. At Ice & Vice everything is made on premises and the result of their efforts is an amazingly smooth, explosively flavored treat. Kim and Lo enjoy creating offbeat combos, such as my scoops of Shade (smoked dark chocolate with caramelized white chocolate ganache) and Three Little Pigs (salted caramel with bacon butter and bacon pralines), but they're not interested in just being gimmicky. These are carefully constructed recipes, lovingly executed, and they are orgasmically delicious.
MilkMade In Brooklyn
Over in Brooklyn, in a tiny storefront/laboratory, Diana Hardeman of MilkMade has set up a Tasting Room to both promote and move beyond from her successful subscription-based, pint-of-the-month club business. Here at the Tasting Room you'll find about eight flavors–five "signature" ones, which will remain on the menu for a while, and three or four rotating creations–and you can order all of them in the usual fashion, by the scoop in a cup or cone. But I went straight for the MilkMade Tasting Flight, five mini-scoops paired with five different flavored cones (from Konery), which is not only fun to eat and share, but is also all excellent. From left to right in the photo at top: Chinatown Chocolate (super dark, with an "exotic" spice blend), chunky Red Velvet, an impressively authentic PB&J, Macaroon, and a crowd-pleasing Salted Caramel.