While driving in Montauk last week during the heat wave, the car thermometer was at 87 degrees but felt like it was at least 100. It’s been over 90 degrees for at least the past five days in the Hamptons, with no relief in sight. Something was definitely wrong with my car’s air conditioning unit; it just wouldn’t cool down. I was seconds from parking in the dunes and jumping into the ocean sans bathing suit, since I forgot to put it in the car (I know, dumb move), when I saw this big, aqua-colored truck in the Kirk Park lot across from the IGA, with bold pink lettering: MONTAUK ICE CO. ITALIAN ICES. I thought it must have been a mirage or an oasis, like in the desert. I couldn’t believe my luck!
This huge mobile Italian ice truck was the answer to my prayers. It brought me back to my youth—those hot summer nights on Long Island when the Mister Softee ice cream truck would “ding” its way into the neighborhood, gladly interrupting our game of “kick the can” or “war.” Most of my friends chose the soft ice cream cones, but all I ever wanted was that delicious flavored frozen Italian Ice on my tongue. I’d get the watermelon, cherry, lemon, rainbow or blue ice.
When I parked and approached the big blue Montauk Ice Co. truck, I was delighted to see that there were at least 20 flavors, from the traditional water ices like lemon, cherry, watermelon, rainbow and mango to flavors like cotton candy, piña colada and chocolate mousse chip. There are also a variety of cream ices, including peanut butter cappuccino crunch, mint chocolate chip, vanilla crème chip, cookie dough and orange creamsicle, as well as specialty ices from Brooklyn favorite L&B Spumoni Gardens, like their popular Spumoni and Cremelata and so many more—all made with the finest home-made ingredients. Montauk Ice Co.’s owner, Joe Tranchini, was so accommodating that he invited some of the children and me to sample the unique flavors. It was so delicious and refreshing—I was in heaven.
After sampling several, I settled on the mint chocolate chip Italian Ice and my new 10-year-old friends chose the rainbow and the peanut butter cappuccino crunch. Having been so distracted by the refreshing ices, was surprised when I turned around and realized we weren’t the only people waiting for the frozen treat—the line had grown to about 25 people. I apologized for the wait and hurried off to continue indulging myself.
Montauk Ice Co. is the first of its kind in Montauk and the Hamptons and is the brainchild of entrepreneur Tranchini, a recent graduate and finance major from Fairfield University who, after a stint on Wall Street working for Merrill Lynch, decided to try to make it on his own by bringing his family’s gourmet Italian ice recipes from Brooklyn to us lucky citizens on the East End and Montauk. Make sure you try this great new summer treat.
The Montauk Ice Co. truck is currently parked at Kirk Park on the south side of Montauk Highway by the dunes as you enter the town, next to the IGA supermarket and across the street from the 7-Eleven. They are there most days from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m., weather permitting, but have been known to show up at local baseball fields, beach parks and are available for catered parties, graduations and events. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.