…is Berkeley. And it’s Ici’s scoop of Darjeeling with sour cherry ice cream. It is hard to believe that I had any more room in my stomach after eating such feast today, but I did. It’s delicious.
Here’s the Scoop is an ice cream parlor that not only serves up the best variety of gourmet flavored ice cream and sorbet in town, made in-house, but they source all their fruit flavors seasonally from our local farmers markets.
Last weekend I’d had their incredible cherimoya sorbet and the mixed berry Buttonwood merlot at the Edible evening gala, and this weekend was their Valentine’s special: a hot fudge sundae using a heart shaped chewy brownie, a scoop of ice cream of your choice, whipped cream and a good drizzle of hot fudge, $8. There’s also a special treat offered to people who subscribed to their newsletter that really sweetened the deal. You’ll just have to join their email newsletter to get in on that action.
Two of us went, and I got the marscapone gelato, while my friend got the espresso gelato.
The judgement: no leftovers. The brownie was chewy, quite firm, and the ice cream and hot fudge softened it up. It was bigger than it looked and we were so full after this late afternoon “snack” that we skipped dinner.
Happy Valentine’s Day-ish!
Here’s the Scoop
My final food destination on the birthday food tour.
This time I got my desserts. There was time to spare between the SBIFF 1129 after party, and the late night showing of local short films at the Metro 4.
Cafe Luck’s just around the corner, and I know for sure I can get dessert in and out in half an hour. This time I had two companions, all sitting at the bar, eating ice cream.
The bartender was kind enough to put a candle into two of the scoops of ice cream, so thank you for that. But the winning items came later.
The other big winner is Cafe Luck’s Floating Island dessert. This is heaps fancier than I ever had in France. Just look at it!
A stout column of meringue topped with a great ball of spun sugar, all in a bowl of lavender creme anglaise. And for $7!! Is it even legal to have such a great dessert for such a small price?
And yes, it was delicious.
I’m back! I have about 30 minutes to spare, and want ice cream. What’s Cafe Luck got for me today?
Coconut cashew sorbet. This is the $3 scoop. Yes, a “scoop” is the contents of that glass. Best ice cream deal in town. Swears.
I have yet to actually eat a meal at Cafe Luck. Prior to tonight, it was just a cocktail there. And tonight, just dessert.
But I finally succumbed to the temptation of ice cream, due entirely to an inside scoop (oh god, so punny) that the ice cream and sorbets there were now under the care of a friend. The Santa Barbara Film Festival was now underway, I had a press pass, and my first event to attend was still an hour away. What to do?
So I ate three “scoops” of ice cream, considerably bigger scoops than I was expecting for gourmet ice cream, of marscapone, salted caramel and a sorbet that I can’t remember anymore. It was way more ice cream than I was expecting. And cost just $7 for the lot. No photo, unfortunately. I savored my sweets at the bar.
The real prize came at the end of the meal, mainly because I wasn’t expecting it. The bartender brought out two little macarons, Earl Grey flavored, from the kitchen. I got a message that the earl grey was inspired by me. Aw! And they were really good, too.
I’m now a fan.
I think Kris and I had been talking about having dinner with her family for three years, and tonight we finally did it.
Her whole family is passionately engaged with food. Researching it, making it, writing about it, definitely eating it. Their kitchen is massive, with the largest center island/chopping board I’ve ever seen in a home. And the whole family contributes to the dinner process.
Shaun did the main dinner, making two of his favorites. First, pizza bread rolls. He made two kinds, one was vegetarian with lots of broccoli, the other was a sweet/spicy bbq chicken.
While waiting for dinner to bake, I browsed the kitchen, where a number of persimmons were hanging up to dry. This process is called hoshigaki, where persimmons are peeled, and gently massaged, resulting in a thick, chewy dried fruit covered in natural sugar crystals.
But back to dinner! I forgot to get a photo of the soup. This is also a specialty of Shaun’s, named Dada Soup. It’s made of ultra fresh and seasonal fruits and vegetables, pureed and run through a chinoise, resulting in a rich, nutritious and creamy soup, even though it’s completely vegan. His young daughter loves it, and this is critical, as she gets many servings of healthy fruits and vegetables from it. Tonight’s soup had a lot of beets and carrots in it, resulting in a deep velvety orange-red soup that might look like it had tomatoes and cream in it, but actually had none. It was really really good.
The pizza rolls…well, how can you go wrong with fresh bread out of the oven. We ate way more than we should have.
Nancy was in charge of dessert, and she made a delicious bread pudding. While dinner was being prepared, there was vanilla ice cream freshly churning, and we got our pudding a la mode.
Last but not least, a carefully pulled cafe latte from Shaun, using Blue Mountain Kona beans and a special pump espresso machine. There was even latte art.
I was so full, he understood that I wouldn’t be able to finish the cafe latte, but I was happy to have a go at it.
This family knows their shit! My gift to them was two year’s worth of Saveur magazine, which I hope they’ll enjoy reading as much as I did and maybe inspire them. They’re already the types to travel abroad to learn different culinary techniques.
Do you know what I like the most?
No, not cakefarts! Ahem. Do you know what I like the most?
White chocolate Magnums. An ice lolly of vanilla ice cream enrobed in white chocolate.
I heard about a special event through Edible Santa Barbara.
Each of the chef’s desserts were paired with small scoops of the ice cream shop’s gelatos and sorbets.
Now, I knew that Here’s the Scoop made all their own gelato and sorbet in-house, and specialized in seasonal market fruits (try the pluot in summer), which the other gelato shops don’t do, but it’s rare that I make down Montecito way. Logistics and all that.
This was worth the trip. Here’re descriptions of the three desserts on offer, pulled from Edible SB’s posting and Here’s the Scoop’s newsletter:
STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE: Toasted Almond Shortcake, filled with Strawberry Sorbet, with a Strawberry couli and balsamic reduction drizzle, topped with vanilla bean whipped cream.
CHEESE BOARD: A Ricotta Cheesecake with an Olive Oil Citrus Cookie and Pink Sea Salt.– Paired with Almond Gelato, Blood Orange and Mixed Berry Sorbet.
MOTHER’S DAY TREAT: Vanilla Bean Angel Food Mini Bunt Cake with Rose Water Glaze.– Paired with Pistachio Gelato, Mango and Lemon~Lavender Sorbet.
Each cost $7.95.
We got the strawberry shortcake and the cheese board, the photos are of our actual dishes. We did not get the mother’s day treat, and this photo is of the display dessert in the freezer case. It sure did look good and I did try some of the lavender lemon sorbet separately.
My favorite of the evening was the cheese board, I loved the citrus cookie base and the pinch of salt made all the flavors pop. The blood orange sorbet was intense and delicious, and the owner Ellie Patterson said it’s one of the most popular flavors they offer.
These desserts are available all weekend! You might want to call ahead to confirm if there is a special window of time the chef is preparing, as this Friday event was only 7-10 pm.
If you don’t have time this weekend, or just want a simple scoop of frozen treat, I recommend the lavender lemon sorbet. It’s LOVELY. Nik got a medium cup with a waffle cone, containing vanilla bean gelato and the lavender lemon sorbet. He seemed pretty happy.
Here’s the Scoop
Ah, dinner during First Thursday. Love coming here after wandering the galleries and catching the Forum Lounge show at the Contemporary Arts Forum.
Tonight we shared a bowl of mussels, and their standard $14 burger with bacon and onion rings.
Dessert was caramel ice cream with brittle. Very good! All their desserts are good and hovering in the $8 price range. Best art for sale at First Thursday. :)
While some of the basics of Vosges can be bought in Santa Barbara, I most look forward to a business trip to Las Vegas because I can visit an actual store, where fresh truffles are available as well as a small bar for ordering ice cream and hot chocolate. This was the purpose of today’s visit.
Big ups for the lovely Moroccan style tea glasses we had for water glasses. The pink didn’t even threatened T’s masculinity because the glasses were so cool.
We shared a mug of Aztec hot chocolate. I’ve had the white chocolate lavendar before, and the plain chocolate, while good, is still plain. So the spicy chocolate was the way to go. They did not skimp at all on the chocolate and spices, it was thick and rich, practically a meal in itself.
We also had a serving of Naga ice cream, that’s a sweet curry coconut flavor. Tip from our helper: sometimes WholeFoods carries their Naga ice cream in the freezer section. I will check!
We also bought some truffles to bring home, all wrapped up in their pretty purple bows.
Photos by Ted Mills.