Portland chef David Levi kicks opens the door to his latest venture Vinland Backdoor Ice Cream Company next week.
“Our ice cream has been really popular,” said Levi, whose 100 percent local restaurant Vinland opened in late-December with a splash.
The new foray for the category breaking chef is not local duck, but local dolce. Though he’s going easy on the sugar. Not everyone over 14 wants a head rush, followed by an energy crash, with their frozen dairy delights.
“These are ice cream flavors that are delicious and unusual and fun,” said Levi. “Not cloyingly sweet.”
Forget chocolate chip or peppermint stick. Think white pine and juniper, lemon balm and brown butter with parsnip shortbread crumble. Strawberry semifreddo too.
Made with local cream from Hatchland Farms in New Hampshire and Maine maple syrup, this startup could give the Vermont ice cream company (Ben and Who?) a wake-up text.
To coax the timid to his locavore lair, Levi is using the back door in his kitchen (accessible from Congress Square Park) to hawk cones and homemade popsicles in flavors like cranberry and blueberry yogurt all summer long. (Note the proximity to Small Axe food truck)
Taking a familiar category like ice cream and creating a new one — a healthy frozen treat neither savory nor sweet, but sophisticated enough for adults — just might be his smartest move yet.
If all goes well Vinland Backyard Ice Cream Co. could be chillin’ in your grocer’s freezer by fall. That’s the scoop!