Ici

by arnold on September 8, 2008

Ici specializes in artisanal ice cream, made fresh daily in small batches, and it’s been described as some of the best ice cream in the Bay Area. It was smoldering here in the Bay Area last week (90+ degrees in SF???), so we stopped by Ici on our way to Bakesale Betty. Yes…dessert before lunch.



We got six scoops between the three of us and got to sample a wide range of flavors. I don’t think all the flavors necessarily worked, but you have to appreciate the care and the commitment that goes into every batch of ice cream.

  • Chipotle Chocolate Chip – good, but the heat from the chipotle threw me off. I wished it was chipotle, chocolate chocolate chip. I think a chocolate ice cream would have gone perfectly with the heat of the chipotle.
  • Malted Vanilla – good…mild vanilla flavor.
  • Lemon – loved it…sour at first but I like how it mellowed out.
  • Fresh Peppermint – good minty flavor…not overbearing.
  • Saffron/Orange Blossom – I thought it tasted like Indian food (I know that sounds odd) and my wife was trying to figure out what orange blossom actually tastes like. She liked it though.
  • Peach/Habanero Sorbet – i didn’t think this one worked at all.

I also tried the basil ice cream as a taster and thought it was interesting, but I don’t know if I’d want a whole scoop of it.

Flavors change daily and I’d like to go back and try some more of their ice cream, but I hesitate to join the chorus of folks anointing it the “Best in the Bay,” especially when I didn’t think any of the flavors we tried topped Bi-Rite Creamery’s salted caramel (and I’m not even a caramel fan) or the Milk and Cookies or Orange Sherbet from San Rafael’s Three Twins.

However, it is nice to know that there are so many artisanal ice cream shops are out there making small batches of fresh, natural ice cream, and having more options just makes trying to figure out who’s best more fun and challenging.

INFORMATION
Ici
2948 College Ave
Berkeley, CA 94705 map
510.665.6054
Web site

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

susannah September 8, 2008 at 2:43 pm

I recently had an orange blossom cocktail, and I know what you mean about the Indian food…I know it sounds boring, but trust me, you have to try Bi-Rite’s vanilla. It’s the best I’ve ever had, and I don’t really like vanilla.

Reply

Arnold September 8, 2008 at 2:47 pm

@susannah: Thanks for the tip. I know we’re definitely going back to Bi-Rite one of these days. Have you tried their roasted banana? That one is really good too.

Reply

Ed M September 8, 2008 at 3:43 pm

I tried Ici’s ice cream at Slow Food but just one flavor – peppermint, and thought it was lovely. I do prefer BiRite over Ici, however.

Reply

Nate September 9, 2008 at 1:26 pm

Hm, not too far from Chez Panisse. Maybe we could stop by there after dinner…

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