Katherine Curry’s Journal News Ice Cream Odyssey took her on a delicious journey all around the Lower Hudson Valley this summer. Here are her picks for great ice cream in the Sound Shore, and, when available, links to her original blog posts on these venues. Take it away, Katherine:
When I began my Westchester ice cream research, I couldn’t believe how many places were serving Longford’s ice cream.
Don’t get me wrong: I’ve enjoyed some scoops of Longford’s over the years, and sure, it’s locally made, but how many places do we need serving the same brand? Let’s hear it for ice cream diversity!
Founded in 1990, Longford’s makes all its ice cream at its Port Chester facility, and over the summer, I stopped into both the Larchmont and Rye shops for a scoop.
Both shops are cute ice cream parlors with a few seats. Some flavors have been tastier than others — the seasonal Georgia peach is a winner, and so is banana, redolent of ripe fruit with a creamy texture.
One thing I’ve noticed with some of Longford’s flavors, though, is a tendency toward gumminess. This sets in, I think, when the ice cream’s been sitting for too long. That textural problem has been absent in freshly scooped, just-opened tubs.
Longford’s vanilla is a hit in my 7-year-old daughter’s book, and she’s become quite the connoisseur of the flavor. It’s creamy, perfumed with vanilla, and the perfect background for some hot fudge sauce and sprinkles.
The chocolate is pudding-dense, and rich: It is reminiscent of my favorite chocolate ice cream on earth, the Killer chocolate flavor from the upstate New York ice cream company Jane’s Ice Cream. Cookie Monster, a vanilla ice cream with chocolate chip cookie dough, is popular with the kids, although its lurid blue color was off-putting for my 7-year-old ice cream snob.
Longford’s Mud Pie is my downfall. This flavor, a version of which I first had at Ashley’s Ice Cream in New Haven, Conn., is for me the definitive grown-up ice cream indulgence. Longford’s version has an intense coffee ice cream base laced with chunks of crushed Oreos and fudge, a symphony of sweetness and bitterness. The fudge pushes it a little too far in the direction of sweetness, but still, this is a flavor I cannot stop eating.
Longford’s makes some other good coffee flavors, including Espresso Nugget, similar to Jane’s cappuccino Kahlua. I also like the refreshingly minty Peppermint Stick.
Turns out that a little bit of Longford’s is a good thing after all.
Details: 4 Elm Place, Rye, 914-967-3797; 1941 Palmer Ave., Larchmont, 914-834-0207.
Katherine’s picks on other great ice cream spots in the Sound Shore area, after the jump…
This tiny, pink jewelbox of a chocolate shop serves nine flavors of excellent gelato from Ciao Bella, including strawberry and chocolate. Grab some “Jeffrey Bark” on your way out, made with Belgian dark chocolate with roasted almonds and sea salt.
Details: 2107A Boston Post Road, Larchmont, 914-834-6464.
Part ice cream parlor, part sports memorabilia store, Last Licks serves brightly colored, sweet ice cream (sometimes with a sports theme), custom-made for the stores. If you’ve got a super sweet tooth, try the S’Moreo, created by Scarsdale High School’s class of 2007 — it’s chocolate ice cream with cookies, marshmallows and graham crackers.
Details: 104 S. Ridge St., Rye Brook, 914-315-6688.
Go for the paletas, Mexican frozen pops made with milk and fruit, in a rainbow of colors and flavors. We like the creamy flavors like banana and strawberry. Hard ice cream, at least at the Port Chester location, suffers from storage problems (icy, gummy), but we still like the unusual Chongos flavor, based on a Mexican pudding made with curdled milk, cinnamon and sugar.
Details: 33 N. Main St., Port Chester, 914-939-3694; 350 Mamaroneck Ave., Mamaroneck, 914-315-1598.
The gelato at this legendary Mamaroneck pizzeria is very good. Available in classic flavors like Nutella, espresso and nocciola (hazelnut), plus some intense, flavorful fruit sorbets like raspberry.
Details: 316 Mamoroneck Ave., Mamaroneck, 914-381-2022.
A riotously colorful candy and gift shop, Sweet Teez scoops four flavors at a time from Milford, Conn.-based Walnut Beach Creamery. The flavors change weekly, but almost every flavor we’ve sampled is something special. We’ve enjoyed the lush, decadent dark chocolate ice cream with espresso brownies, as well as Strawberry Shortcake and Sweet Teez Vanilla Graham Fudge. Walnut Beach’s ice cream is not available anywhere else in Westchester.
Details: 157 Larchmont Ave., Larchmont, 914-630-1744.