Note: First Looks give previews of new dishes, drinks, and menus we're curious about. Since they are arranged photo shoots and interviews with restaurants, we do not make critical evaluations or recommendations.
When Holiday Kumar was pregnant two years ago, she got some strange cravings. Offbeat, savory ice cream flavors were one of them.
Holiday and her husband Mohan had talked before about starting an ice cream business, and in their frequent visits to wd~50 during Sam Mason's tenure as its pastry chef, they found their ice cream man. (Yes, Sam Mason of Empire Mayonnaise fame.)
Last Thursday, the trio opened Odd Fellows Ice Cream on the Williamsburg waterfront, footsteps away from Smorgasburg's Saturday market spot. The scoop shop will sell ice cream, housemade sodas, shakes, floats, and cotton candy. Its opening menu includes sweet cream and strawberry ice creams. It also has chorizo caramel.
"I'm just trying to use science to make the best ice cream possible," Mason tells me. That means some ice creams get sweetened with dextrose while others get sucrose or honey. Sorbets are stabilized with a wee bit of locust bean gum to tone down any errant ice crystals.
But his approach is, by and large, traditional—these are classic American-style custard ice creams made to taste rich, creamy, and fluffy—and Odd Fellows is ultimately designed to be a classic scoop shop. Mason is also one of very few New York ice cream makers who's pasteurizing his own dairy, which Odd Fellows buys from Battenkill Creamery.
Odd Fellows will rotate the bulk of its flavor offerings over the season. In addition to the flavors above, the starting lineup runs from vanilla and "sprinkles" to cornbread and maple-bacon pecan. The candy-striped scoop shop will have counter and table seating as well as pre-packaged pints available to take home. At time of opening, Odd Fellows is restricting its offerings to ice cream, sodas, and cotton candy—additional menu items will come soon.
Prices run $3.25 to $6.25 for one to three scoops, and larger sundaes cost $7.95. Milkshakes are $7.50, housemade sodas are $3.50, and egg creams (made with Fox's U-Bet!) will be $3.25. The shop is open from noon to 10 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Hit up the slideshow for a closer look at some ice cream glamor shots.