Paul Tamburello has a habit of creating spaces and food full of nostalgia and charm. His first spot, Little Man Ice Cream, was a quick success. So it’s no surprise his most recent effort, Sweet Cooie's, has taken off immediately.
If the concepts weren’t endearing enough, they are both named after Paul’s parents. His dad’s nickname was "Little Man" and his mom’s, "Cooie." Each spot is tailored to their individual legacies, from his father’s generosity to his mother’s courage.
When they were working on opening Sweet Cooie's and developing the menu, they knew they wanted to have a signature item. And the gooey cooie was born. It is a brioche doughnut, and a dense one at that, split open and filled with your choice of ice cream. It sits in the panini press for a minute or two, and is then topped with a sweet and sticky glaze.
"It is so decadent," says chef Claire Fields. "I like that there are a lot of different textures and temperatures involved. You have the creaminess and cold of the ice cream against the crispy outer layer of the donut and warm airy inside."
Everyone else seems to enjoy it too. They sell at least 25 on each weekend day, sometimes more. "A lot of people have seen it on Instagram or hear about it from a friend and they come in asking for it," says Fields.
The dish is a labor of love. Brioche dough has to be made slowly and carefully—the dough starts as a sponge that needs time to sit. The fat from the butter and eggs needs to be added slowly, allowing the gluten to develop. And then the dough itself needs to rise and rest. The whole process can take days.
"Anything with yeast is a labor of love. But it’s worth it. This is a fun and surprising dish, which fits Paul’s vision perfectly. Who doesn’t want to eat a doughnut and ice cream at the same time?"
Get it every day of the week from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.