Ice cream purveyor Morgenstern’s big Houston Street flagship is officially also a cocktail bar. After taking some time to get a liquor license, the new outpost of the popular shop from owner and pastry chef Nick Morgenstern will be turning its eight-seat counter into a sundae and cocktail bar, fashioned to feel like an old-school ice cream counter.
Starting tonight at 6 p.m., cocktails pulling from some of the shop’s best known flavors will be offered. A daiquiri will come with lemon juice and burnt honey syrup, modeled after the burnt honey vanilla ice cream, and an old-fashioned will come with salted pretzel syrup, to be similar to the salted caramel pretzel ice cream. Pioneering bartender Lynnette Marrero collaborated on the menu, and all of them cost $15. Wine and beer are also offered.
But perhaps more enticing to fans will be a selection of new sundaes and desserts on offer only at the counter. A classic banana split and a grasshopper sundae are available, as are options leaning more into the shop’s more specialty flavors, such as a vegan mango sundae featuring mango passion rice ice cream and cashew sorbet. Prices range from $9 for a simple hot tin roof (Madagascar vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, chopped salted peanuts, cherry) to the $16 banana split.
Desserts that aren’t straight sundaes will be new to the shop starting tonight, too. There’s a tiramisu take that uses Vietnamese coffee ice cream, mascarpone salted hazelnut ice cream, Vietnamese coffee-soaked lady fingers, condensed milk, and mascarpone cream, as well as black and white profiteroles using labne sorbet.
Those sundaes and cocktails will only be available at the counter for now, and even there, it’ll only run on Fridays and Saturdays from 6 p.m. to midnight. Eventually, people will be able to get cocktails to consume elsewhere at the indoor-outdoor space at 88 W. Houston St., at LaGuardia Place.
Morgenstern worked in pastry at fine dining restaurants such as Gramercy Tavern and Daniel before going full-time into more casual projects. In 2014, he launched his eponymous shop on the LES, and since then, it has been a popular destination for exacting ice cream flavors, regularly attracting long lines for both takes on classics and cheeky ice cream-based dessert specials. The new Greenwich Village location opened in October, with capacity to offer 88 ice cream flavors at once, plus more pies and cakes.