Dish of the Week: Mintwood Place’s grilled cheese ice cream

Media Credit: Alexander Welling | Assistant Photo Editor

The ice cream dish is presented in sandwich form to mimic the presentation of a standard grilled cheese.

Updated: September 7, 2019 at 3:32 p.m.

In a warm, farmhouse-style restaurant, Mintwood Place serves up French-influenced cuisine.

The facade of Mintwood Place at 1813 Columbia Road NW in Adams Morgan is lit with warm yellow bulbs in the windows and bustling with diners enjoying both indoor and outdoor seating. You can also snag a seat at the bar or lounge area of Mintwood Place – with the best view of the open-concept kitchen – without needing to make a reservation.

Inside, guests can enjoy their meals at round wooden tables scattered through the open dining room, in leather-lined booths or at tables near the windows. Like the patio’s lighting, a chandelier with antique light bulbs dimly lights the restaurant.

Standout dishes on the menu include a wood-roasted chicken ($25) and steak frites ($26), but you can skim past the main offerings like I did and settle on dessert for dinner.

Pastry chef Stephanie Milne is experimenting with flavor and presentation in her desserts, offering several dishes that rotate off the menu.

You can try one of Milne’s dessert creations like s’mores ice cream ($5) or strawberry rhubarb sorbet ($5) available only at the bar or lounge. But the most intriguing dish from her options is a combination of a child’s lunch and a classic dessert: The grilled cheese ice cream sandwich ($7).

When you think of cheese and dessert, you might come up with cheesecakes, but this dish mixes cheese with dessert in a new way. The ice cream dish is presented in sandwich form to mimic the presentation of a standard grilled cheese. Ice cream saturated with an American cheese flavor is pressed between two thin pieces of pan-fried and chilled brioche bread.

The ice cream was almost completely lacking sweetness, and the slightly gelatinous quality similar to processed cheese gives a sticky texture to the ice cream. The familiar pan-fried bread taste gave it a toasted butter flavor.

Like a child’s grilled cheese sandwich, the sandwich is toasted, sliced diagonally and served cold. The dish was enjoyable, if for no other reason, because it convincingly accomplished a combination of two classic dishes: grilled cheese and ice cream.

Before you dive into the adventures of culinary deception, you can also try one of Mintwood’s menu classics like Parmesan Risotto ($20) with fresh peas and corn, sun-dried tomatoes and shallot butter, blistered shishito peppers ($6) with flaky salt and lime or the tagliatelle Bolognese ($19) with pecorino cheese.

To compliment your dish, Mintwood offers fancifully named house cocktails like the “Tippecanoe & Tyler, Too” ($13) an Irish whiskey cocktail with Tawny Port wine, Green Chartreuse liqueur and clove bitters. You could also sip on the Bright Idea ($12) made with tequila, ginger, carrot, honey and lemon.

Mintwood gives guests a menu of delicious savory small and main plates, but don’t count their dessert menu as void from savory flavors. If you want to end your dinner with an unconventional dessert, bite into a slice of their grilled cheese ice cream from Mintwood Place while you have the chance.

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