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A spoonful of pleasure

Photos by Matt Haas

April 2015

Clockwise from top left: Bread Pudding, Pumpkin Spice,Whiskey Bacon, Strawberry at Purple Door.


Warmer weather tends to put ice cream and gelato on our radar. This spring, step away from your usual choice and let your taste buds experience something a little more exotic. Here are five great places that serve up something cold with a spoon, but with a twist.

Purple Door

Everything is good at Purple Door — soda, sundaes and samples — but the best thing on the menu are the flights of ice cream. Even if you’ve tasted your way from absinthe through whiskey and snacked on garam masala and trail mix in between, you don’t have to settle on just one flavor. Three not-so-little bowls of ice cream come served on an elegant wooden tray. For a more boozy concoction, head to The Brown Bottle to try Purple Door brandy ice cream in an old-fashioned sundae, complete with a brandy caramel sauce and maraschino cherries muddled in Angostura bitters.

Divino Gelato

With locations in Waukesha, Brookfield Square and Racine, the Divino Gelato Café serves up an amazing array of flavors. From Almond Joy and amaretto to Whoppers and zabaglione, you can eat your way through the alphabet of this smooth, creamy and utterly addicting dessert. One bite, and you’ll think you’re in Tuscany.

Strawberry Stracciatella crepe with strawberry gelato.

Cream City Swirl

What’s better than just plain gelato? A scoop of it on top of a freshly made crepe. Though it’s not formally on the menu, combine a scoop of gelato on top of a fruit-filled crepe at Cream City Swirl, and you’ll be sold on this decadent dessert combination. Blood orange sorbetto or chocolate hazelnut go great with a plain crepe.

Babe’s Ice Cream Truck

Nothing says summer like Babe’s ice cream truck, especially when it’s parked at Humboldt Park during Chill on the Hill concerts. But when it’s not quite summer, you can grab a sundae, a malt or even an ice cream cake at Babe’s in Bay View and sample an ever-changing array of flavors. Cake batter with fudge is nice, as is Zanzibar chocolate, but besides regular ice cream flavors, Babe’s features no-sugar-added ice creams like sweet caramel ripple, as well as vegan ice creams like vanilla chocolate chip soy.

Cold Spoons Gelato

If you’re headed to a classic film at the Times Cinema in Washington Heights, stop at Cold Spoons Gelato for a bowl of Bailey’s Irish Cream gelato or sea salt caramel. This gelato maker keeps it local, making their ever-changing array of flavors with cream and milk from the Sassy Cow Creamery. But the best time to enjoy it is on a Tuesday, when medium bowls cost the price of a small bowl and large bowls cost the price of a medium bowl.



This story ran in the April 2015 issue of: