Tartufo at Lupa

The Brown Bonnet from Carvel Ice Cream was a staple of my childhood. It’s hard to believe it now, but our family would ride our bikes together to the Carvel on Long Beach Road in Oceanside, Long Island, where I grew up. We’d dismount, mosey inside and place our orders and my parents’ orders were always the same: a brown bonnet for my dad, a brown bonnet for my mom. What’s a brown bonnet? Essentially: soft-serve ice cream dipped in a chocolate glaze that instantly hardens. You can get it at the Mr. Softee truck in New York; there it’s just called a chocolate-dip. Wherever you get it, there’s something immensely satisfying about ice cream in a chocolate shell. And after years of brown bonnets and chocolate-dips at Mr. Softee, I thought I knew everything there was to know about the magical combo of chocolate on the outside and ice cream on the inside—that is, until I had the tartufo at Lupa.

Lunch at Lupa

The West 4th stop of the D train has two exits: one on Waverly Street and one on the actual West 4th, in front of the IFC movie theater. These two exits, for me, mark two very different moods, two very different frames of mind. To exit on Waverly is an act of self-denial, a focused foray into the world of bagels and coffee–a quick one up at Murray’s on 13th and then back down to Joe on Waverly where I will sit and work for hours. To exit on West 4th, on the other hand, is to embrace a world of gastronomical wonders, to ignore all the mandates of “should” and “right now” and to relax into a land of creature comforts, of lobster rolls and gourmet cheeses, of yolky gelato and crispy paninis.

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