When Nick Morgenstern opened Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream (2 Rivington Street, 212-209-7684) his eponymous ice cream parlor on Rivington Street last May, neighborhood patrons popped in for burnt honey vanilla milkshakes and Counter Culture coffee hours before the city’s food-obsessed formed out-the-door queues come dusk. But the morning sun-soaked counter seating was wasted until last Friday, when the chef introduced a month-long breakfast menu in collaboration with Brutal Magazine. Every morning until 11:30 a.m., from now through March 8, the six stools provide an opportunity to sample a half-dozen dishes like “Chill Out Dude, It’s Only Avocado Toast,” featuring avocado ice cream, splashed with olive oil and condensed milk, smeared on toasted Japanese white bread supplied by nearby Pan Ya, and “Don’t Get Salty With Me, Miss Pepa,” a salt-and-pepper bread pudding dressed with aster petals.
“We were just waiting and it was just the right time,” Morgenstern told us Monday afternoon, after a crowded breakfast service. “I had a meeting with AnneStine [Bae], who’s one of the two partners [of Brutal Magazine], and I was asking her what’s going on with her next issue. She was talking to some advertisers, but it didn’t sound like much fun, so I said let’s do something else.”
Bae and her partner Gheanna Emelia launched Brutal last May and work to keep the magazine free of advertising. To fund the second issue’s print run, Morgenstern, no stranger to artist collaborations, having crafted a flavor with local jewelry designer Anna Sheffield last fall, offered to help.
“I basically give her everything we make,” Morgenstern said. “Every dollar that comes from this goes to producing the next magazine.”
Those dollars come from a menu Morgenstern devised with Bae and Emilia over just three days a few weeks ago, and include a breakfast sundae of apricot sorbet served atop a bowl of house-made yogurt drizzled with honey and sprinkled with black sesame, and a steaming-hot porridge thickened with coconut and topped with salty black rye granola.
And already pleased with the early response, Morgenstern suggests some version of a breakfast menu can extend past March 8.
“If people are into it, if the neighborhood wants to support and buy breakfast, we’ll do it,” he said.
Just remember, it’s still cash only.