Momofuku Milk Bar
207 2nd ave. nyc 10003
(corner of 13th and 2nd)
Ambiance: 6 Service: 7 Food: 7
There is something surreal about this establishment. Perhaps it's the semi-absurd ice cream flavors such as 'salt & pepper', 'cereal milk' and 'peanut butter and jelly'. Or maybe it's the infamous "compost cookie" which is a mere claustrophobic composition combining pretzels, potato chips, coffee, oats, butterscotch, chocolate chips into a smorgasbord of an offering. Yet the motley crew one would think such an establishment would attract wasn't so motley but merely gastronomes who are looking for anomalous treats to satiate their culinary curiosities.
In my late night search for the bizarre, Christina Tosi, pastry chef/owner provided just that. Somehow, someway, she brilliantly captured the exact flavor of salt and pepper in her ice milk soft serve. It was as if I was licking a dish containing cracked pepper and kosher salt. I swirled with it the peanut butter and jelly soft serve which too was crafted with prowess. On the forefront of the palate was the jammy strawberry flavors, while the finish offered the sweet and nuttiness that you'd find in a container of Skippy or Jiff. It was identical to how a peanut butter and jelly sandwich attacks the palate: jelly first, peanut butter second. Brilliant.
The decor is homely. Dark, rustic hard wood panels line the walls with a large chalkboard covered in colorful scrawl annotating the offerings. Long wooden tables are positioned to suggest the communal activity that ice cream eating is and should be. While waiting for your treats to be made, the open kitchen provides an enjoyable vista of the pastry chef's hard at work.