The ice-cream industry is really pushing the National Ice Cream Month promo this year, but in South Florida, every month is ice-cream month. That's probably why local hotels are finally getting into the act with a new focus on inventive ice-cream offerings. (Riki "off-my-cleanse-diet" Altman featured La Marea's selection yesterday.)
A few months ago, the Loews Miami Beach Hotel debuted an ice-cream parlor, SoBe Scoops, as part of a $50 million renovation (who knew dairy costs so much?). Scoops, located off the shiny hotel lobby, has a retro 1950s ice-cream parlor/candy-store décor going on. Parts of the small, bright shop are wallpapered in a pink-and-white striped pattern that matches the pink-and-white leather booths. It's an updated, clean-lined version of the sort of place you'd want to take Betty or Veronica, though they might be taken aback somewhat by LCD flatscreen menus posted behind the counter.
Executive pastry chef Rene Contee
SoBe Scoops offers a short but sweet menu of premium ice creams -- including the famous Graeter's,
from Cincinnati, Ohio. Attendees of recent Burger Bash events at the
SBWFF will be familiar with the creamy, cleanly flavored, not-too-sweet
taste of hand-churned Graeter's, which has been around since 1870 and
claims to still make its ice cream two gallons at a time. Chocolate
raspberry is currently the featured flavor at SoBe Scoops, but a couple
of other flavors are available in take-out pints. I tasted the
chocolate raspberry, and all I'll say is that Graeter's is one of those
rare breeds of products that induces foodie fanaticism yet isn't
The homemade ice creams are likewise topnotch. I
especially liked the key lime pie, which has pieces of the Loews key
lime pie in it. The turtle cheesecake flavor was also delicious, yet
while I admit the bubblegum flavor really does taste like bubblegum,
I'm pretty sure I'd never want to eat a whole scoop of the stuff.
Häagen-Dazs fills out the rest of the selections. One scoop of any of
the ice creams is $3.99; two scoops are $5.25; three scoops are $6.50.
Mini pastries, candy apples, and other treats
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shop also sells shakes, candies, freshly whipped cotton candy, and
various cookies, cupcakes, and pastries prepared under the supervision
of Loews' executive pastry chef Renee Contee -- who is also the man in
charge of those homemade ice creams.
SoBe Scoops is open daily
from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and this weekend will scoop ice cream
poolside via an old-timey ice-cream cart. I forgot to ask if they
intend to serve a red-white-and-blueberry flavor, my fave from the old
Good Humor trucks.
Loews Miami Beach Hotel
1601 Collins Ave., Miami Beach