Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream is like hopping into a time machine, back to the days of old school ice cream parlors. The workers have on those cute soda jerk paper hats and white aprons, the seating is adorable (counter seating facing a large mirror, bench seating with little school desks…), and polished black and white tile flooring and interior design. The flavors, on the other hand, are anything but classic.
Their ice cream menu is divided between flavors with a vanilla base (like burnt honey vanilla and peppermint vanilla), chocolate base (such as salted chocolate and Szechuan peppercorn chocolate), caramel base (like salted pretzel caramel or sesame caramel), coffee base (Vietnamese coffee, coffee caramel…), and “specials.” This last category includes the really fun flavors like strawberry durian, banana curry, licorice, and American egg. They also have some sorbet and soft serve options as well as sweet drinks like floats and shakes.
You’re allowed to sample anything you want, and of course, I was ready to take full advantage of that. I stuck with my ice cream tasting strategy, being that I asked to sample the craziest flavors available. This meant that I got a little taste of the salt and pepper pinenut (totally weird trying to process the flavor of freshly cracked peppercorns with ice cream) and cardamom lemon jam (citrusy, spicy, light, and sweet). It’s kind of adorable when you ask for samples of something with a topping or add-in ingredient, because they make sure that that little spoon is a complete representation of the flavor. For me, that meant add a teeny dollop of jam for my second choice. For my friend, that meant balancing a pretzel piece on top of her salted pretzel caramel sample. It totally fell off by the way in the journey from the server’s hand to my friend’s, but they were quick to give her a giant piece of pretzel on another, bigger spoonful of ice cream.
Another interesting quirk of Morgenstern’s is that when you order your ice cream (and pay with cash since it’s cash only!), they take down your name and go create your treat. So, you get your ice cream delivered to you rather than getting it right at the counter when you pay. A little odd because I still got mine almost immediately after ordering and taking a seat anyways, but it’s charming nonetheless?
I went with a scoop of green tea pistachio in a cone. Ah, two of my favorite green-flavors in one! (I was totally going to say “my favorite,” but can’t forget about mint chocolate chip!!) The ice cream was creamy, a delightful, unique blend of flavors, and the little pieces of pistachio nuts throughout the ice cream were wonderful.
Along with any flavor you get, you can also add toppings, which range from fudge to pickled pineapple for around $1.50 each. They also have four “ice cream standards” on the menu that might peak your interest–one of which is the $18 King Kong banana split.
Morgenstern’s really hits the nail on the head with their tagline, “A New American Ice Cream Parlor.” Come here to enjoy the adventurous, sophisticated flavors, and stay to take in the attractive, throwback decor.
Green tea pistachio ice cream in a cone
2 Rivington St
New York, NY 10002