As ice-cream season edges ever closer, our brains fill with images (and our in-box with press releases) of retro-chic ice-cream stands, carts, and trucks. This past weekend, aspiring Mister Softee Nick Morgenstern unveiled the cart he plans to station outside his Fort Greene restaurant, the General Greene, all summer. But what you might not know is that the pastry-chef-restaurateur has been serving his handcrafted, eggless “Philadelphia-style” ice creams for months now at his own restaurant, and selling them to a handful of wholesale accounts. So should you crave, say, a bite of the Elvis (a soft-textured peanut butter with banana and bacon), or extremely nutty hazelnut, or a stimulating Stumptown coffee single-origin Guatemala Finca El Injerto, you needn’t wait until the cart’s official launch this weekend, or even trek out to Brooklyn. Greene Ice Cream can be found every day at Irving Mill (where General Greene consultant Ryan Skeen is chef), the New French (where banana ice cream garnishes the tempura banana split), Nizza in the theater district, and Resto, where it’s sandwiched, in a festive Belgian manner, between two chewy Liège waffles, or garnished with a stroopwafel.
In other ultrapremium Brooklyn butterfat news, Jacques Torres’s new ice creams might make their debut this weekend — in Manhattan. After testing the waters with seasonal ice-cream sandwiches, the Dumbo-based confectioner is staking a major claim to the frozen-dessert business this summer with a new ice-cream shop, a forthcoming truck (serving hot chocolate all winter!), and a line of new flavors that Torres might unofficially try out at his Hudson Street shop this weekend before going public in Brooklyn the following week. As we’ve seen from his David-and-Goliath run-in with Hershey’s, Torres is no pushover — a good thing, since he’s got major Dumbo competition from not only the overrun Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory up the block, but from his former partner, Hervé Poussot, who makes ice cream and sorbet at Almondine Bakery. To that, Torres has two words (four, not counting hyphenation): Fro-yo! Soft-serve! Either of which just might be on temporary Memorial Day display on Hudson Street, thanks to a newly acquired soft-serve machine. Good enough reason to stay in town, we’d say.