Many sweet tooths ached when Icebox Cafe bid adieu to its home of 15 years right off Lincoln Road. But judging by the crowds at their larger and swankier eight-month old Sunset Harbour location, the recovery period has been painless.
Initially unsettled by the the idea of moving, it wasn't long before owner Robert Siegmann saw it as an opportunity to revamp Icebox. He wanted the new location to be more in synch with his customers' evolving tastes. Now patrons are health conscious folks for whom "organic" is no longer a buzzword, and who won't flinch at paying $9 for a green juice.
After all, there's a high probability they just finished a $25 spinning class at Flywheel next door, and indulged in a $30 pizza at the neighboring Lucali earlier that week. Yes, they still want to nibble on those decadent signature desserts that bear Oprah Winfrey's seal of approval, but they'll feel a hell of a lot less guilty doing so if they start off with, say, an organic avocado and seed salad ($15).
The aforementioned salad is one of a few new items added to a menu, and it's packed with organic ingredients. Despite shavings of Grana Padano cheese, the salad is quite light on its own and pairs well with meat from Icebox's debut rotisserie.
During a recent visit, we ordered the $17 chicken breast (organic, of course), with a side of Brussels sprouts. It was juicy and expertly-seasoned, and if it weren't for the pristine mother and daughter duo sitting across from us, we would've ditched the silverware and devoured every last morsel.
The chicken is served during lunch and dinner, along with St. Louis-style pork ribs. On weekends, a wild card rotisserie item is thrown into the mix.
Our dining companion ordered the wasabi crusted wild salmon ($23), which comes atop pad Thai-style quinoa. The salmon was lean and decidedly un-fishy which we liked, but we would have enjoyed bigger flavor coming from the quinoa.
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Unlike at its previous location, Icebox's world famous desserts are no longer front and center. This way, passers-by are not misled into thinking that's all the restaurant's about.
Indeed, the part rustic, part modern Icebox 2.0 aims to provide a 360 degree dining experience beginning with breakfast and culminating with a night-cap. To do so they've added a full-service liquor bar, as well as an organic juice bar. And it doesn't hurt the stunning space practically begs you to linger, and of course, have a bite of dessert.
Follow Valeria Nekhim on Twitter @ValeriaNekhim