Thursday, August 27, 2009

Enter the Side Door - Bistro 33's New Ice Cream Parlor

Bistro 33's Side Door - Entrance is just to the side of Bistro 33
19-33 Ditmars Blvd, Astoria NY 11105
N/W Train to Ditmars Blvd (last stop)

Curious about Bistro 33's new ice-cream joint, Side Door, Dan and I went to check it out last night. Still in its soft opening, it was pretty chill (no pun intended), given that it was a rainy night--but that's not to say that it was lacking customers. There were a couple of loyalists that came and went, enjoying a nice scoop of creamy ice cream and old fashioned candy.

Just like Bistro 33, Side Door has a relaxing, casual vibe. Several welcoming tables and chairs offer a place to sit as well as an inviting bar up front where you can enjoy your treats--casually conversing with your server, or staring indulgently at the penny candy that's situated there. The overall feeling is laid-back and lovely, much unlike a crowded Coldstone Creamery where things get hectic. Music is another strong element, with soft, alternative tunes such as The Shins projecting through the speakers.

Ice Cream:
Although Side Door doesn't make their own ice cream, they're upfront about it, mentioning they use Bassetts--a legendary brand of ice cream, which has been around for almost 150 years--as their supplier. You can get a regular scoop (or two) or get it all served on a brownie like I did. The latter is tempting, especially because the brownies are freshly baked on the premises.

Butterscotch Vanilla on a Brownie
- This was my ice cream choice, which you could see pictured above. So rich, so flavorful and so awesome to finally taste real ice cream, considering the fro-yo, low-fat infested world we live in. The flavors were decadent and the texture was thick and buttery, mixing beautifully with the dark chocolate fudge brownie. On its own, the ice cream was fabulous but with the brownie, it was out of this world. Dan, who didn't get a brownie kept stealing bites off my plate to mix with his peanut butter swirl ice cream.

Peanut Butter Swirl - Dan loves anything with peanut butter so his choice wasn't surprising. If you're a serious peanut butter head, I wouldn't skip this. Just like my butterscotch vanilla flavor, it was rich and intense but not so much so that it was overpowering.

Besides ice cream, Side Door's other offerings include old fashioned root beer floats, cheesecake, smoothies, coffee drinks, nostalgic candy and even Greek yogurt, which you can get with honey and walnuts.

Service and Cost:
The service matched the surroundings - it was friendly, relaxed and casual. We got what we ordered on the spot, chatted briefly with the owners, and were invited to stay as long as we liked. It's a very lax environment, which I welcome after a long, hard work day.

Costs are moderate for ice cream at $4/cup, but you're getting quality and flavor. Nothing is above $10, making this a great place for a much needed treat.

3 Mmmms

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