Chef Nick DiBona loves big flavors. He credits his traditional Italian upbringing and learning how to cook with fresh local ingredients as the source of his focus. Subtlety is not his forte.
Indeed, DiBona pulled out all the stops in his newest venture, Bona Bona Ice Cream Shop. After he won the Food Network’s “Chopped” cooking competition with his “chef-crafted” ice cream, DiBona opened Madison Kitchen in Larchmont, but eventually left that to persue his ice cream dreams full time. He took his homemade ice cream on the road with a food truck, traveling throughout Westchester and New York City. Notable on his route was Smorgasburg, an open-air food market in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which was the inspiration for Bona Bona.
The massive, 5,000-square-foot ice cream store in Port Chester opened in December. The Willy Wonka-esque space is designed to encourage visitors both young and old to indulge their sweet tooth through a variety of devices. There’s a chocolate fountain, as well as a milkshake bar where patrons can enjoy no less than seven different craft milkshakes (including Key lime pie and crème brûlée) under ice cream cone-shaped lights. And no self-respecting, over-the-top ice cream parlor would be caught without a sprinkle room—a private room where it actually rains sprinkles.
DiBona’s frozen creations don’t stop there. The shop features over a dozen different ice cream flavors, ranging from Rainbow Cookie and Holy Cannoli to B Dough (brownie cookie dough) and Nutella S’mores. Purists can also enjoy rich Valrhona chocolate, vanilla bean and ripe strawberry ice cream. Cones and cups can be made “Bona style”—with DiBona’s signature torched and scorched topping of fresh Italian meringue.
Soft-serve and vegan flavors also are available, as are baked Alaska with carrot cake and salted cream cheese ice cream, s’mores lava cake and burnt banana split. If that doesn’t satisfy your craving, you can take a pint (or two) home.
Bona Bona Ice Cream
10 Westchester Ave, Port Chester
(914) 481-5712; bonabonaicecream.com