The Great NYC Dessert Round-Up (Summer 2012 Edition)

As the weather gets warmer, my desire for cool, sweet treats grows exponentially (and it’s already pretty high). Here, in chronological order, are some of the best desserts I’ve enjoyed over the last month. We start with the After School Special, a pie from Four & 20 Blackbirds that’s only available on Tuesdays. At the bottom is a layer of peanut butter, then honey, then sliced bananas, then banana cream, then a huge layer of whipped cream. It’s one of the best pies I’ve eaten from Four & 20, and unlike most of their other pies it’s served cool out of the refrigerator.

My love for the Salty Pimp at the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop has been well documented, so suffice it to say that if they have a special flavor on offer you should get your Salty Pimp with that flavor. Here you see one made with their Brownie Batter soft serve, which added a great chocolate richness to an already fantastic ice cream concoction. On another visit I had a chocolate & peanut butter milkshake, which was likewise fantastic.

Speaking of salty ice cream… After a disappointing meal at Buttermilk Channel, Donny and I stopped by the new Carrol Gardens location of Momofuku Milk Bar. I got their salty pistachio soft serve. It may have skewed a little too salty, but it did taste remarkably like salted pistachios. The unusual flavor made it addictive eating.

We were fortunate enough to be on hand for the grand opening of Kim Ima’s Treats Truck Stop. We all toasted the opening with milk and cookies as Kim cut the ribbon. We tasted a Chocolate Chipper, a chocolate chip cookie which was quite good.

On a recent warm day I found myself in Chinatown at Nice Green Bo, which is directly across the street from the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. I hadn’t been there in a long time, so I decided it was high time to make a return. I used to order the almond cookie ice cream or the lychee sorbet, but this time I ordered something different: Zen Butter. That’s peanut butter ice cream with sesame seeds, and it was great. Sure, you’ll be picking sesame seeds out of your teeth for an hour or so afterward, but the ice cream is creamy and delicious.

After meeting my friend Jess for lunch at the Masalawala yesterday, we decided it was so hot outside that a trip to Il Laboratorio del Gelato (just around the corner) was a requirement. At the Lab they have around 200 flavors of gelato and sorbet, though only 48 are on offer at any given time. As they finish one container it is replaced by a completely different flavor, so from day to day they’re likely to have completely different flavors. Also we noticed that they open at 7:30am — gelato for breakfast! After tasting a sample of the butternut squash gelato I ordered a scoop of olive oil and a scoop of rhubarb. The rhubarb was nice and tart, but the olive oil was a revelation. As it melted in my mouth it left behind the flavor and texture of olive oil. I tasted some of Jess’ order — one scoop each of buttermilk and pomegranate gelato.

For more information on any of these places, follow the links below.

Four & 20 Blackbirds, 439 3rd Avenue, Gowanus
Big Gay Ice Cream Shop, 125 East 7th St, East Village
Momofuku Milk Bar, 360 Smith St, Carroll Gardens
Treats Truck Stop, 521 Court St, Carroll Gardens
Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, 65 Bayard St, Chinatown
Il Laboratorio del Gelato, 188 Ludlow St, Lower East Side


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