Kitchen Sink | Jaxson’s Ice Cream, FL
Right in time to combat record East Coast temperatures, here’s a showcase of the most decadent and elaborate ice cream desserts in the USA—starting with the Kitchen Sink, trademark dessert from Food Network favorite Jaxson’s in Fort Lauderdale. Absolutely do try to replicate any of these at home—and when you do, invite the neighborhood.
By Lena Katz
Photo Credit: Jaxson’s Ice Cream
Treasure Chest | Serendipity 3, Las Vegas
Though this bicoastal super-diner is known for its Frrrozen Hot Chocolate, all of the ice cream treats on its vast menu are insanely tempting. So it was a truly (evil) genius maneuver to create the Treasure Chest, which is every dessert on the menu, overflowing from an edible chocolate container.
Photo Credit: Serendipity 3, Las Vegas
Samuel Adams American Kriek | Beaver Creek Park Hyatt
Summer’s a great time to mix classic kiddie pleasures, like mid-day ice cream floats, with grownup pastimes, like afternoon beer-drinking. Of the multiple beer floats on the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek’s summer menu, this one wins our “Most Decadent” title, because it includes not only dark chocolate and vanilla bean ice cream, but also a third scoop of black cherry-nutella swirl.
Photo Credit: Park Hyatt Beaver Creek
Espresso Stout Ice Cream Float | Palace Gate by GILT
In Manhattan, there are plenty of places to enjoy a boozy beverage, but the spacious courtyard restaurant at the New York Palace combines classic Manhattan elegance with delicious modern indulgences like this boozy float. Three scoops of cinnamon gelato, Mother’s Milk Stout and “milk chocolate pop rock shard” garnish make a dessert that’s so cool, you can actually see the chill.
Photo Credit: The Palace Gate by GILT
Mega Sundae | Bagatelle, LA
You might think a restaurant that first rose to fame as a St. Barths jetsetter hangout would serve desserts in a teaspoon, dusted with solid gold. But no. This happy surprise of a sundae (available at Bagatelle LA and New York) features bruleed bananas, salty peanut caramel, vanilla marshmallows, fudge brownies, chocolate meringue and sauce, all atop a whopping four scoops of Neapolitan ice cream.
Photo Credit: Bagatelle LA
Red Bean Shaved Ice | Foumami, Boston
Shaved ice topped with red beans is a popular roadside treat that Hawaii borrowed from Asia—but one Boston restaurant brings this exotic, flavor-bursting dessert to the East Coast. If the additional traditional toppings of mochi, jelly fruits and condensed milk are a bit too far-out to handle, stick with fresh fruits and you’ll be happy and refreshed.
Photo Credit: Foumami
Green Tea Sundae | PABU, Four Seasons Baltimore
Also of Asian extraction, this Japanese-inspired piece of edible art features LAMILL Baltimore passionfruit green tea ice cream, hibiscus meringues, fresh strawberries and honey gelee. It doesn’t pack the butterfat calories of most desserts on this list, but top-quality ingredients and beautiful presentation create a culinary experience that will linger in your memory.
Photo Credit: PABU
Peach Orb | Parkside, Austin
Appearances can be deceiving. The frosty peach sphere that dominates this dessert is actually sorbet, with a relatively healthy peach and fresh raspberry filling. It’s the pistachio shortbread crumble, pistachio sponge cake and root beer ice cream on the side that push the envelope toward extravagant.
Photo Credit: Parkside Austin
Turtle Shell Sundae | Sea Island, Georgia
Southern luxury enclave Sea Island has a sweet shop straight out of a children’s daydream—it’s even called Wonderland. This is the cutest of many delicious, and creative, signature desserts. It features vanilla ice cream, a peanut butter “Magic Shell,” caramel and chocolate chip whipped cream in a waffle-cone shell.
Photo Credit: Wonderland
Drunken Monkey | Borgata, Atlantic City
In honor of everyone’s favorite MTV guilty pleasure, here’s a sweet Jersey Shore treat that’s not only boozed-up, but is also just the right shade of tan. It comes courtesy of the Borgata Resort, which, as one of the classier venues on the Shore, encourages drunken banana shenanigans in its desserts, but not in its nightclubs or other public areas.
Photo Credit: Borgata
Guacamole de Postre | Rosa Mexicano
If you look at this picture and see guacamole, then Rosa Mexicano Pastry Chef Jai Kendall has done his job. An August signature at all locations of this upscale contemporary Mexican chain, it features avocado-mint ice cream swirled through with white chocolate swirl and topped with strawberries. The “chips and salsa” on the side are actually passionfruit-chocolate sauce and cinnamon sugar buñuelos. Like real guacamole, it’s prepared tableside.
Photo Credit: Rosa Mexicano
Boozy Floats | Rowes Wharf Sea Grille, Boston
For fruity refreshment at the Boston Harbor Hotel, it’s a tie between the Mango Cooler with Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur and Stoli Vanilla; or the Smooth Sailin with Ketel One Citron and Cointreau over lemon sorbet. For endorphins, the Boozy Bon Bon featuring Stoli Vanilla, Godiva Mocha Liqueur and Pepsi atop chocolate ice cream is a must. Available through July 31st.
Photo Credit: Rowes Wharf Sea Grille
Torta di Nocciola e Digestivo | Spiaggia, Chicago
Don’t let its delicate looks deceive you. This hazelnut flour cake with Fernet Branca peppermint gelato, roasted white chocolate, candied kumquat and Luxardo Maraschino cherries packs astonishing richness and Fernet-powered buzz into every bite. Chef Sarah Grueneberg created it for her finale appearance on Top Chef: Texas.
Photo Credit: Galdones Photography for Spiaggia
Because July is National Blueberry Month—and also because, presumably, not all readers want to intake a week’s worth of calories just to cool off—we’re including this light and delicious concoction from the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council. Heaped with fresh blueberries on top of blueberry compote and vanilla frozen yogurt, it’s only around 400 calories per serving.
Photo Credit: U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council
Gelato | Asellina, Gansevoort Park Avenue, NYC
For all the brave souls who have withstood a Manhattan summer and will be looking to seriously cool off by August, One Group’s Park Avenue Italian restaurant Asellina is providing a wonderful treat. On August 8th from 6-8PM only, its summertime gelato cart will offer unlimited gelato and toppings for a mere $10 per person. Not to rush anyone, but do consider getting in line...now.
Photo Credit: Asellina