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Best of Unique Summer Treats

Summer’s in full swing.  There’s a Mister Softee truck on almost every corner, Italian ice carts in front of almost every pizza parlor, and berries at every market.   There’s no need to fall into the same vanilla cone or lemon ice habit because there’s too many refreshing, new drinks and desserts this year.

105 First Ave.,  btwn. E. Sixth St. & E. Seventh St.
(212) 982-5870
Counter has one of the city’s largest organic spirits selections, but their new cocktail popsicles are much more interesting.  It’s a cocktail on a stick, and the blueberry-lemon thyme flavor infused with Square One organic vodka is a decidedly adult treat.

Gramercy Tavern
42 E. 20th St., btwn. Broadway & Park Ave. S.
(212) 477-0777
Lemonade’s a summertime classic, but it also makes a great mixer.  Gramercy Tavern ups the ante with their Pineapple Painkiller, a pineapple-infused rum cocktail made with fresh strawberries, and of course, lemonade.

Fatty Crab
643 Hudson St., btwn. Gansevoort St. & Horatio St.
(212) 352-3592
If Manhattan’s the only island you’ll visit this summer, you won’t be seeing any palm trees.  But Fatty Crab’s got fresh coconut cocktails at the bar.   Just like in the islands, the bartender machetes open a fresh young coconut pours in dark rum and you can pretend you’re at the beach.

crema_puma_rosado.jpgCrema Restaurante
111 W. 17th St., btwn. Sixth Ave. & Seventh Ave.
(212) 691-4477
Crema puts an upscale spin on the tiki bar staple, the flaming cocktail (pictured right.)  We like the Puma Rosado, a mix of raspberry vodka, triple-sec, margarita mix and a splash of cranberry juice. It’s shaken, served in a champagne glass, and topped with a flaming sugar coated lemon.

103 W. 77th St., btwn. Columbus Ave. & Amsterdam Ave.
(212) 362.3800
Pastry chef Vera Tong has created some truly inspired and exotic sorbet flavors at Dovetail.  She’s drawn on the summer’s best flowers and fruits to come up with a hibiscus-lemonade and mango-ginger.  The tang of the lemon is tamed by the hibiscus, while the smooth sweetness of the mango complements the heat of the ginger.

Yerba Buena
23 Avenue  A, btwn. E. First St. & E. Second St.
(212) 529-2919

Mojitos are a summertime favorite, but Yerba Buena makes the mojito their own by transforming this classic Cuban cocktail into a sorbet.  With the tart lime flavor and a hint of mint, this is one drink we’d have as dessert.

Baoguette CafeDurian_Soft_Serve.jpg
37 St. Mark’s Pl., at Second Ave.
(212) 380-1487
Don’t overlook dessert at this banh-mi cult favorite.  The durian soft-serve here, made from the Vietnamese fruit known for its awful odor is excellent — an exotic and creamy sour-sweet ice cream topped with crispy rice. 

1640 Second Ave., at E. 85th St.
(212) 794-9494
There’s room for two Ciao Bella’s in Manhattan.  The downtown gelateria’s well-known for its imaginative flavors, but the Upper East Side CiaoBella’s got a great flavor of its own called carpaccio d’Ananas.  The kitchen marinates fresh pineapples overnight with cinnamon and star anise, then tops the carpaccio with lemon sorbet.

Fabio Piccolo Fiore
1640 Second Ave., at E. 85th St.
(212) 922-0581
This summer, Fabio Piccolo Fiore is coming up with some quirky gelato flavors, like a homemade rosemary-goat cheese.  Chef Fabio Hakill whips up over fifty flavors in total, with a rotation of ten on any given day.

Back Forty
90 Avenue B, btwn. E. St. 11th & E. 12th St.
(212) 388-1990
 Back Forty might be far above the Mason-Dixon line, but they surprisingly make a mean Mississippi Mint Julep, adding shaved ice to this classic Southern cocktail. 



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