Milk Sugar Love (19 McWilliams Place, 201-984-0530), pastry chef Emma Taylor’s year-old Hamilton Park ice cream parlor, has kicked off a six-month collaboration with a cross-section of Jersey City’s best bars and restaurants, serving a limited run of weekends-only sundaes. This weekend is your last chance to taste Taylor’s first joint coupe, created with Paulus Hook café Sam A.M.: french toast ice cream enriched with vanilla, maple syrup, and cinnamon, layered with candied bacon and raspberry syrup, and topped with plush wedges of toast studded with whipped cream.
“I did the opposite of the ice cream we serve here,” Taylor explained. “We don’t use eggs in our ice cream, and this is custard-based, because you need that eggy sensation when you’re talking about french toast.”
The project’s been in the works for a year, but, overwhelmed by the day-to-day business last summer, Taylor finally has a chance this spring to reap the full potential of her kitchen, which now churns out new monthly flavors like Lime in the Coconut and Ginger Creamsicle. The sundae collaborations, meanwhile, offer local restaurants the chance to exceed their potential, as many can’t afford full-time pastry chefs.
“In general the dessert menus in Jersey City are limited — you see a lot of panna cotta happening — so this gives them an outlet for their ideas as well,” she explains. Partnering restaurants include some of her neighborhood favorites, such as wine-and-cheese bar Third & Vine, Portuguese bistro Broa, and Newark Avenue pop-up kitchen Livestock, which is currently tinkering with a buttermilk-bourbon infusion.
May brings a collaboration with Roman Nose, the most authentically Italian pizza joint in the thick of Newark Avenue’s pizza glut. Their contribution is a honeyed ricotta ice cream that Taylor will execute, while the restaurant will produce the earthy toppings, including strawberry balsamic reduction, mint, and candied walnuts.
And while you might spy new flavors through the glass during the week, Monday through Thursday only promises a taste of what’s to come on Fridays. “We tease it,” Taylor says. “We promote it all week, taste it out, then everyone is thinking about sundaes come weekend!”