Written by Emily Elizabeth White, Special to CNN
Is Manhattan supposed to be frantic? In the magical story of the Roman philosopher Blaise Pascal, it is precisely because of our frantic attitudes toward time that the key passage in his collected works provides the compelling case for what he calls “the indispensable time.”
Of course, Manhattan is not on the bleeding edge of every human endeavor. But an ice cream parlor in the steep facade of 300 Park Avenue and 85th Street does offer a feel-good glimpse into the magical world where time truly does stand still.
Sometimes it just seems that The Thompson House is the greatest New York ice cream parlor of all time. But we are aware that quality matters, and that with about 5,000 customers a week, our beloved parlor must measure up to a high standard.
I visited The Thompson House on a lark. This is not the same parlor that we’ve seen on past episodes of “Auction Kings.” That old place was a street vendor. This place is a luxury ice cream parlor, and it’s made by a Michelin-starred French pastry chef. So here’s what we’ve been talking about:
Don’t bother with traditional scoops
Many luxury ice cream parlors limit the amount of toppings a customer can add to their favorite flavor. But on a recent afternoon, a regular patron of our show went all-out, piping his Spago Pride with orange juice and hot fudge sauce, creating a heady swirl of molten fudge and ice cream that looks like the face of Hemingway. But an upgrade is not needed. The Thompson House’s frozen cream is great and filling.
Frozen cakes are beautiful
The cake in the dessert tray arrives in a beautiful arrangement: an old fashioned frame, a little sliced bun and cakes piled high and rounded like a mouse that got caught in a blender. Gotta love it!
The whole show is perfectly smooth and fluffy, with no obvious “foaming” or cracking. Everything is smooth.
The Thompson House
Add a few sprinkles
Sadly, here we all must go, but it’s easy to add sugar. Anything goes. That was a very satisfying experience. That jar of whipped cream in the window is a tempting marriage of smooth and crunchy, warm and cold, creamy and crisp.
Dream an entire dessert
An evening at a low-key dinner club in Greenwich Village might include a large plate of chunky lemon ice cream or a quesadilla of vanilla ice cream. Why not stop by The Thompson House? It may just be the most delicious parlor in the world — even in a season-shifters garden like late summer. It might even be the City of New York’s most magical café.