Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ladies Who Lunch: I Scream, You Cream........


After a hectic Fashion Week running all over the city from show to show, I was happy that the last day was on a Thursday.  Why, you might ask? Because Friday was my Birthday and I wanted to do nothing more than enjoy being at home in New York.
So after an afternoon of wandering around streets that hold so many memories and dinner with a best friend at a favorite restaurant, how did I want to finish off the evening? Ice Cream!!  But not just any ice cream. I grew up during the birth of what became known as “premiere” ice creams and cut my teeth while working at the Häagen-Dazs on Columbus Avenue back in the day.  Needless to say, like with most things in my life, I am spoiled and really want the very best.
Admittedly, I am not an East Village type of guy, only venturing over there for a few specific reasons: Veleska, Veneiro’s and DiRoberti’s.  However, I had heard about a supposedly awesome Vegan Ice Cream spot called Stogo that I was dying to try.  I have tried the different alternative ice creams that you find at places like Whole Foods and even though I have liked some of them, they have never quite lived up to my expectations of “ice cream”.  Somehow the consistency and flavor is always a near miss.  So off to the East Village we went.

Located on the corner of East 10th Street and 2nd Avenue, Stogo lured me in with it’s bright lights and the promise of excellence.  Opened and co-owned by Kyra Sedgwick’s brother, Rob Sedgwick and Steve Horn, Stogo promises the best in gourmet organic dairy free ice cream.  I am here to confirm that they live up to their promise!

Concocting their frozen goodness using either soy, coconut or hemp milk, and offering around 30 flavors, I dove in and tried three scoops of three different flavors: soy based chocolate hazelnut, salted caramel pecan and coconut milk based toasted almond joy.  My first impression was that this was not your typical ice cream, but more like a fine gelato.  The texture is creamy and smooth for a real “ice cream” mouth feel that I have found lacking in the commercial brands and none of that gummy sticky feeling.  As for the flavors, all of them were exceptional and tasted as described.  I really appreciated that they concentrated on delivering intense flavors as opposed to concentrating on sweetness.  I found this to be especially true when I tasted my friends selection of Mint Chocolate Chip, cool clean mint flavor.  This combined with the texture reminded me a lot of ice cream from Berthillon in Paris.

Stogo also offers an amazing array of toppings: cookie bits, golden Himalayan raisins, raw cacao nibs, seasonal fruits.  Particularly for my first time, I took my servings sans toppings, wanting the purist experience.  Next time however, I think I will have to give those toppings a whirl as well.  Needless to say that I am impressed and I am looking forward to exploring their other flavors and experiencing more of a treat that unless you told me, I would never guess to be vegan!

Stogo: 159 2nd Avenue (Entrance on E10th St btw 2nd and 3rd Avenues)
             New York, NY 10003  212.677.2301

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