Readers, you know that I am nothing if not honest. On Life With Food and Drink, I give you the truth, the honest truth, nothing but the truth, so help me (restaurant) God(s). And so here's another bit of unvarnished truth: I've made a mistake. A huge mistake.
I've lived in Hell's Kitchen for almost four years now, if you include a summer before I moved here officially. And all that time I've been erring. Badly. Because here's the situation: Before last week, I'd never been to Ruby & Violette, a little cookie and ice cream shop a mere TWO BLOCKS from my apartment.
What a fool I've been. Sure, it's unassuming, a tiny sunken storefront that looks like a cross between a '50s soda shop and Alice in Wonderland's living room. There are a couple tables and a counter, and that's it. Except that's not it: Behind the counter lies some of the (if not THE, point-blank) city's best ice cream.
The concept behind Ruby & Violette's ice cream is cookie dough-- each flavor is packed with chunks of their creative cookie dough concoction. And by chunks, I do mean chunks, each a bit bigger than a Starburst and just as chewy and dense. Oh, and there are large chocolate chips in most of the flavors too.
I tried the Friday Night Foosball flavor, with peanut butter ice cream and Chex-mix packed cookie dough and some Chex mix pieces sprinkled in throughout. It was a rich, peanut buttery blast.
But my first taste, and my ultimate selection, was First Kiss, a caramel ice cream with dark chocolate chips and hunks of sea-salt-flecked dark chocolate cookie dough. The caramel flavor of the ice cream was cool and pure and perfect in combination with the incredibly rich cookie dough and the snappy dark chocolate pieces. One scoop of this is enough to fill the hungriest belly.
Oh, and if they happen to offer you a "taste" of their brownie while you're waiting, don't turn it down. It just may be damn near the best brownie you've ever tasted, fudgy and melting, simultaneously rich and light, a texture alchemy that doesn't seem possible.
I just spent the last four years without this ice cream, and now I have a whole heck of a lot of catching up to do. Don't make the same mistake I did.
Ruby et Violette
457 W. 50th Street, near 10th Avenue