i was pretty excited when chocolatier jacques torres announced the opening of their ice cream shop this year. brooklyn seems to be missing some really great ice cream, and even if the ice cream is ok, the space is not. i want an old fashioned ice cream soda shop like what i remember growing up with in slc and everything nearby seems to be falling short of that. i don’t really like blue marble’s ice cream though their style, space and focus on organic is great. i cannot deal with the poor poor service at sweet melissa’s cremérie though in theory this spot should fit the bill. i like the classic design at sweet melissa’s and the ice cream is solid if not exciting, but when it consistently takes 20 minutes just to order it’s not for me and two little kids.
and although there’s no sit down there, i had high hopes for bklyn larder’s gelatos but our first test with the strawberry was a bust — super sweet. the brooklyn ice cream factory is great (and they now have a midtown spot which is exciting), and i am a big fan of their banana splits and their peaches and cream and strawberry flavors– very creamy with fresh fruit. however, with the explosion in popularity of my favorite pier fulton ferry landing, the brooklyn ice cream factory has become an incredible zoo flooded with tourists and wedding parties constantly. the space has become a bit ratty and it can take forever to get a cone.
given that jacques torres’ chocolate shops have a lot of charm and appeal, and the chocolates are pretty darn good, i definitely thought that the new jacques torres ice cream shop might be my answer to the perfect place for a sundae. although the store itself was a pretty big disappointment with unimaginative design and no linger appeal – just a big box with high ceilings and a few tables, the ice creams were very very good. my father had the chocolate wicked flavor (a torres‘ signature) and i had the chocolate raspberry in a cone (pictured above) and was in heaven. extremely rich and custardy with a dark chocolate flavor and just a tiny bit of raspberry that highlighted the flavor contrast. my only quibble is that i had no need for the super size cone, and would have much preferred a regular sugar cone. we also tried the strawberry and blood-orange soft serve (pictured at top) which was tart with the fruit flavors clear as a bell but not too bracing or too sweet. j. tried the regular mango sorbet though and was not quite as impressed so i think we’ll have to stick with il laboratorio del gelato for sorbets though i am headed to l’arte del gelato later this week so maybe there is a sorbet contender.
jacques torres also had a bunch of ice cream concoctions we didn’t get a chance to try but should including an ice-cream waffle, a fontain of chocolate with raspberries, a cotton candy sundae, a chocolate banana cigar and lastly the all time famous chocolate chip cookiesmade into an over the top ice cream sandwich. for a more enjoyable eating experience, if the weather’s not so great, the other jacques torres shop on hudson street in manhattan which has lots more appealing seating is also serving ice cream though i’m not sure if that will be a year-round thing. given that i think it’s the best in the borough, i’m sure i’ll be coming by jacques torres for a cone periodically after grimaldi’s or on our way to the pirate ship playgroundthat is one of our favorites at brooklyn bridge park. jacques torres ice cream, 62 water street at main street, brooklyn, new york, 718.875.1269; 350 hudson street at king street, manhattan, new york, 212.414.2462.