Bongo Java mogul Bob Bernstein's latest project, situated next door to his flagship coffeehouse Fido, is unlike any other place in town. (As Bernstein has pointed out, ice cream places usually have mediocre coffee, and coffee places rarely have high-quality frozen treats.)
Hot & Cold serves coffee and espresso from Bongo Java, delicious Mexican-style ice-pops from Las Paletas (owned by Bernstein's wife, Irma Paz Bernstein, and her sister Norma Paz), chocolate from local luminaries Olive & Sinclair, fragrant brews from locally based Partners Tea Co. — and a thrilling newcomer to the Nashville scene, gourmet ice cream from Jeni's of Ohio.
Jeni's turns out to be as wildly fresh and creative as billed. Signature flavors include salty caramel ice cream and a sorbet crafted of Riesling-poached pears. Current seasonal flavors include Sweet Potato with Torched Marshmallows, Oakvale Young Gouda with Vodka-Plumped Cranberries, and Sweet Cream With Appalachian Elderberries.
Which leads me to my take-home message: Take home a pint. It's $10, but it's made with artisan ingredients from the farms and hills and valleys surrounding Jeni's Ohio headquarters. A pint would make a great holiday hostess gift.
Here's the part where Hot & Cold gets kinda free-form, concocting and combining their treats in unusual ways. From Bernstein's description:
The basic idea behind Hot & Cold was to serve great products in traditional and new ways.
* For instance, the Bongo-Leta is a small creamy paleta dipped in espresso.
* You can also get Olive & Sinclair as a chocolate sipper or a dipper. We've created an incredible drinking chocolate that's the chocolate equivalent of espresso: a one ounce serving is pure chocolate heaven. Or, get the chocolate on the side to dip your paleta into or to pour over your ice cream.
* We've concocted a new way to eat the incredible Las Paletas ice pops Nashville has enjoyed for nine years. We start with a creamy ice pop and dip it into the Olive & Sinclair magic sauce to create the best darn hard shell topping you'll ever experience.
* Jen's ice creams are amazing. With an espresso or chocolate shot on top they are something my banker could only descibe using the "O" word.
* The $15 dessert combines them all: paletas, ice cream, chocolate and espresso. Sharing is allowed but not encouraged!
This joint is in my neighborhood, so I'll probably get a chance to figure out all the permutations before too long.
Hot & Cold
1804 21st Ave. S.,767-5468