Design District Specialty
Aubi & Ramsa
172 NE 41st St., Design District
Far from the bubblegum whimsy of generic ice cream shops, Aubi & Ramsa is strictly for the over-twenty-one set. The premise explores the versatility of alcohol as a sweeter flavor, in the form of ice cream. Surprisingly, the combo of sharp booze (mainly whiskey) and flavored cream really works. The orange chocolate cheesecake is infused with Glenlivet Scotch Whisky, citrusy Cointreau, and silky mascarpone cheese, while the chocolate Azteca has hints of mezcal and cinnamon. Design-wise, every detail is considered—the smooth marble counter, copper stools, and extensive selection of booze mimic the experience of sitting at a chic, low-lit bar. Meanwhile, the containers holding your scoops of choice are beautifully branded with spoons to match.
140 NE 39th St., Design District
This pop-up café has pretty much anything you'd want: Breakfast options include a smoked salmon roll with cream cheese and buttermilk pancakes; lunch and early dinner items range from a chicken tartine with hemp seed pesto to vegetable tacos. You can grab prepared food to go, but there is ample outdoor seating in the District’s Palm Court. As an added bonus, they serve Panther Coffee, beer, and wine.
160 NE 40th St., Design District
From some of the same people behind the Smile in Greenwich Village, OTL is a similarly great place to meet up for a casual lunch or coffee. The bright, eminently Instagrammable bilevel space is almost as much of a draw as the organic breakfast and lunch food, which includes fare like avocado toast, an egg and cheddar cheese sandwich with tomato jam and arugula on a brioche roll, kale salad with cashew vinaigrette and radish, plus your standard colorful grain bowl. Homemade pastries and excellent coffee round out the experience.
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