We All Scream For Ice Cream
- story and photos by Lisa Monti, additional photos, Ellis Anderson
It doesn’t have to be summertime to get a craving for ice cream, but it’s steamy out there - luckily for us - we have a variety of places around town to get a cool scoop in all sorts of delicious variations. Here’s what we found:
When Nancy Moynan worked at the fabled Commander’s Palace, she found she liked making up different combinations of ice cream flavors. “It kind of stuck with me,” said the chef and owner of LuLu’s on Main (126 Main Street). For that, ice cream fans can be very grateful.
Nancy makes her homemade ice cream in small batches every day, all year around. The flavor of the day could be blueberry cream cheese, coffee, maybe goat cheese chartreuse (try it before you make a face).
No matter the temperature or season, customers happily end their meals with an ice cream or a sorbet for dessert. “Sometimes we’ll sell ice cream like crazy in the winter months. It doesn’t have to be a special time year. It’s just a special treat,” she said.
At Sycamore House Restaurant (210 Main St.), the homemade ice cream is billed as fresh flavors of the moment and the offerings are generously varied: creole cream cheese, mint chocolate chip, coffee, blueberry, roasted marshmallow, peach buttermilk, salted caramel.
One scoop or two? A taste test of all the flavors didn’t bring on brain freeze, but did set off an avalanche of adjectives. Tart buttermilk peach. Salty-sweet caramel. Richly satisfying cream cheese. Robust coffee. One taste and it becomes your favorite. Until the next taste. And the next. Pick any one of these treats and you can’t go wrong.
Sycamore House customers too full after their meal are known to come back just for something sweet. Enjoy a bowl on the porch, in the dining room, or at the small bar if there’s room.
“The gelato and sorbet we make ourselves,” said Roberto Zito, who owns Cannella with wife Toni. You can order either with the made-fresh crepes or alongside the baked apple dessert, but Roberto said, “the gelato is so good, most people enjoy it by itself.”
The current gelato menu lists espresso, pistachio honey ricotta (just-right richness and chunky), cioccolato, bourbon creme brûlée with the right amount of sweetness and espresso gelato. Sorbet flavors are blood orange ginger, a refreshingly tart limoncello, mango lime chile with a spicy kick and tasty red berry Prosecco.
Order one, two and three scoops served in a cup or in a large waffle cone.
The flavors change periodically because customers and the owners like the variety. “We eat it, too!” said Toni.
Chef Sherry Prater says students from the nearby schools are huge fans of Dippin’ Dots and they come in regularly for their favorite flavors. “You don’t want to run out,” said the chef. “You should see those disappointed little faces.”
Grownup ice cream fans lean more toward Cypress Cafe’s vanilla served atop a chocolate chip brownie, crowned with whipped cream, chocolate caramel and Prater’s praline-candied pecans.
Picking toppings can be a little challenging, just because there are so many delicious choices: coconut, pecans, chocolate chip, Oreos, Butter Fingers, and many more. Enjoy your frozen yogurt in cups or cones (waffle and small sugar cones). At the cash register, guess the weight of your serving and it's free if you're right!