There's no better example of gilding the lily than the ice cream sundae: Take the world's greatest dessert -- ice cream -- then up the ante with toppings, nuts, cookies, whipped cream and, of course, a bright red cherry. Here are some Long Island parlors that make their own ice cream, and then go that extra mile.
Coyle's, Bay Shore: Coyle's two South Shore ice cream parlors are known for far-out flavors and general excess. The waffle bowl sundae is severed in the bowl-shaped equivalent of a waffle cone. The waffle edges are dipped in chocolate, then either sprinkles or chocolate crunch. The bowl is filled with three flavors of ice cream, two toppings, whipped cream and cherry. The second location is located in Islip.
Sip 'n' Soda Luncheonette
Sip 'n' Soda Luncheonette, Southampton: This Southampton stalwart has been in the Parash family since 1958; little has changed since then. The Four Queens sundae features homemade chocolate syrup -- a rarity -- poured over four scoops of homemade ice cream, with whipped cream and a cherry. Sip 'n' Soda uses fresh local fruit for seasonal creams.
Hicksville Sweet Shop
Hicksville Sweet Shop, Hicksville: A round, freshly baked waffle serves as a landing pad for the Sweet Shop's sundae, loaded with homemade hot fudge and whipped cream. Is it dessert or breakfast? Both, according to owner Phil Zouros. Or, come to think of it, why not dessert after breakfast?
Hildebrandt's, Williston Park: The sundae shot is something new from Williston Park's 88-year-old institution. Each 2-ounce shot glass is filled with your choice of ice cream and sauce, topped with whipped cream and sprinkles or nuts. Perfect for the dessert lightweight. Or the dessert heavyweight who wants to order a round of shots.
Henry's Confectionery, Glen Cove: Henry's has occupied this Glen Cove storefront since 1929, and there's no better place to enjoy an old-fashioned banana split. No surprises here, just three scoops of ice cream (owner Joseph Valensisi suggests the classic combo of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry) topped with hot fudge, whipped cream and a cherry.
Itgen's, Valley Stream: Itgen's, a fixture in Valley Stream since 1967, may well serve Long Island's best hot fudge. It's deep, dark and not too sweet, and, as is proper for hot fudge, it solidifies upon contact with ice cream. Purists will get this sundae with vanilla ice cream; chocoholics will choose chocolate. No matter the flavor, wet nuts are a fitting adornment.
Herrell's, Huntington: Herrell's makes a range of ice creams flavored with malt -- malted vanilla, malted chocolate, malted banana, triple malt -- and this sophisticated sundae highlights its distinctive nutty-yeasty flavor. Two scoops of ice cream are drizzled with warm homemade penuche sauce (made with brown sugar and butter), then topped with nuts or crushed cookies or candies, whipped cream and a cherry.
Krisch's Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlor
Krisch's Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlor, Massapequa: If there were a dessert a kid might like more than s'mores, it would be the s'mores sundae, made with two big scoops of Krisch's homemade chocolate ice cream, smothered in marshmallow ice cream, generously sprinkled with graham cracker pieces, then topped with whipped cream and a cherry.
McNulty's Ice Cream Parlor
McNulty's Ice Cream Parlor, Miller Place: Established in 1991, the shop has become an anchor of the Miller Place community. The little ones really dig the sand pail sundae, a nice-size scoop of homemade ice cream with one topping, sprinkles, whipped cream and a cherry served in a plastic pail. Also included: rake, shovel, scoop and, for eating the sundae, a spoon.
Snowflake, Riverhead: Every spring, Snowflake's owner, Stu Feldschuh, starts pestering Riverhead's Briermere Farms: When are the first strawberries harvested? Once he gets his hands on the berries, Feldschuh adds little more than sugar to make his sundae topping. Blueberries and peaches get the same treatment once they become available. Every sundae comes with two scoops of ice cream, one or two toppings, nuts, whipped cream and a little cylindrical cookie.