I tasted everything. I couldn’t resist, but it wasn’t my fault, they made me do it. And, they made it easy. Ice & Vice, an experimental icecreamery on the lower East side offers strange and wonderful combinations, water to cleanse the palate between tastings, and lots of patience to walk you through the choices. The names were clever – as were the flavours, so it was impossible not to succumb to the entire experience. Working my way from No Whey to Opium Den was like attending a wine tasting with Nigella Lawson and Stephen Fry – fun, entertaining and delicious.
For starters, vanilla tastes like no other. Just the idea of using black lava sea salt with Mexican ( not Madagascan ) vanilla beans creates intrigue. Then there is an aptly named 9am made with condensed milk that tastes at first like a doughnut but with an aftertaste of Vietnamese coffee. Pickles of the Caribbean includes a pickled marmalade courtesy of The Pickle Guys around the corner, and for another community collaboration, Ice & Vice made an icecream sandwich rolled as an ‘everything’ bagel. ( The profits went to edible schoolyards, an education program for healthy – or aware – eating in schools. )
While other customers were quick to choose a double vice of ice-cream cone and pie, I was torn between Blood Sisters, a salted chocolate ice-cream swirled with burnt blood orange sorbet, described as a fight to the death between the two flavours, and Ants on a Farm, made with raisins, celery and Gianduja chocolate chips. Paired with a chai-spiced dark chocolate cone, the latter was an absolute taste sensation. What’s in a name? In the case of Ice & Vice… everything!