Dish no. 1: Amaro ice creams from Luca & Bosco (120 Essex Street, 347-815-5822)
Luca & Bosco co-founders Ruthie Vishlitzky and Catherine Oddenino count on the city’s specialty purveyors and industry experts to inspire their unique frozen treats, many from other vendors in the Essex Street Market (Ronnie Sue’s chocolate, goat cheese from Formaggio Essex), where they’ve been doling out scoops for just over a year. During that time, they’ve run a series of special pints in collaboration with veteran barman Sother Teague, who mans the droppers and Yarai mixing glasses at nearby bitters bar Amor y Amargo. Collaborations have included the Czech, clove-forward R. Jelinek Fernet and the alpine amaro Braulio from northern Italy. Recently, they’ve made a batch with Amaro Montenegro, a floral Bolognese elixir that smacks of violet and lists 40 herbs and spices among its ingredients. Mixed into Luca & Bosco’s sweet cream base, the amaro’s edge softens, but not its bitterness, similar to the way the spirit melds with other liquors to add nuance to a cocktail. Sweet, bitter, and creamy, scoops of amaro ice cream make for incredible affogatos, the Italian dessert of coffee poured over ice cream.
In conjunction with our 2014 Best of NYC issue, we’re traipsing through the boroughs and divulging our favorite dishes of the year. They’re presented here as a countdown, but we’re listing them in no particular order. Consider this a guide to what’s good to eat in this town right this very second.