Ice cream is no longer child's play. Restaurants across South Florida are debuting radical ice cream flavors like rosemary, avocado and foie gras creme, plus spiked toppings like Maker's Mark bourbon-infused caramel.
"This is ice cream for grownups,” said Jeffrey Schrader, co-owner of Delray Beach's The Ancient Olive, which is partnering with Blue Bell Creameries to serve up decadent desserts. Their event is a onetime deal, set for Monday, but other places will be serving up special scoops throughout the month. Here's a breakdown of South Florida hotspots for some cool ice cream.
HOT & SPICY
From 6-8 p.m. Monday, find the Ice Cream Social with a Twist at The Ancient Olive in Delray Beach. The store partnered with Blue Bell Creameries
for the free event, where you can try samples of the unique dessert combinations. Among the more palate-friendly pairings is sea salt with espresso balsamic vinegar on caramel turtle ice cream. For the adventurous, there's papaya hot sauce and blackberry ginger balsamic vinegar dripped on blackberry cobbler ice cream (above).
Where: The Ancient Olive, 514 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach
Contact: 561-266-1099, theancientolive.com
Pricing: Free samples
SWEET AND SALTY
Throughout this month, Steak 954 inside the W Hotel Fort Lauderdale offers a dessert menu with standards like the root beer float, as well as more experimental selections, like ice cream sandwiches with white chocolate cookies and pistachio ice cream, snickerdoodle cookies with Cinnamon Toast ice cream, and brownies with toasted pecan ice cream. “I am inspired by the savory,” says pastry chef Sarah Magoon, who experiments with flavors like rosemary with amaretto cherries (at left), sweet corn, Sriracha, caramel coriander and goat cheese with cherry.
Where: Steak 954, 401 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
Contact: 954-414-8333; www.starr-restaurant.com/steak954.com
Pricing: $8-$15 for dishes
The Ice Cream Festival, from Aug. 16-18 throughout the PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, will include unlikely pairings like seared scallops and roasted garlic ice cream, heirloom tomatoes with prosecco basil sorbet (above), and short ribs with white truffle foie gras creme. “We thought the sky was the limit,” says executive chef Donald Young, whose dishes are dolloped with sweet ice cream at the very last minute before shooting out to the dining room. “We did some research on dishes, and thought, ‘What the heck, let's try this.'”
Where: PGA National Resort and Spa, 400 Avenue of the Champions, Palm Beach Gardens
Contact: 800-863-2819, pgaresort.com
Pricing: Different ice cream events cost $10-$100
Rosa Mexicano's popular Ice Cream Festival, through Aug. 25, features sweet concoctions like avocado ice cream (made to look like guacamole) with fixings such as raspberries instead of tomatoes, white chocolate for onions and cilantro for mint, and served in the traditional molcajete bowl. They also have ice cream-stuffed churros (above). “These creative, unique ice creams appeal to the food connoisseur. The guy who goes out to eat every night but, when he sees [there's just] vanilla and chocolate, he doesn't want it because it's just vanilla and chocolate,” says Jim Cawley, regional executive chef of Rosa Mexicano.
Where: Rosa Mexicano, 900 S. Miami Ave., Mary Brickell Village, Miami; 1111 Lincoln Road, South Beach
Pricing: $4.50-$11.50 for dishes