Just in time for the last days of summer, Nitro Space has opened in Huntington, serving space-age ice cream made to order in a matter of minutes using super-cold blasts of liquid nitrogen. (Nitrogen, which constitutes 78 percent of the air you breathe, is perfectly safe.)
There are five liquid ice cream bases — vanilla, coffee, chocolate, matcha green tea and mango-yuzu — and your choice will be poured into a standing mixer and blended with nitrogen that instantly vaporizes and freezes the liquid into cold creaminess. Add in some extras (from rainbow sprinkles and peanut butter cups to Fruity Dyno-Bites and Oreos) or go for one of Nitro Space’s signature flavors such as Coffee Capacitor (coffee ice cream with chocolate-covered espresso beans), Moon Rocks (chocolate or vanilla with butterscotch chips, mini-marshmallows and chocolate-covered pretzel nibs) or Little Green Man (matcha ice cream with Kit Kat bars). Every signature flavor is topped by a “matching” cone, handmade in Brooklyn by The Konery. Cone flavors rotate but right now include cinnamon, toasted coconut, gluten-free vanilla and black midnight.
Nitro Space takes over the old Berger Bros camera shop on Clinton Street, in the same building as Vauxhall and Radio Radio. The shop is a joint venture between the building’s owner, Lewis Block, his sons Sawyer and Jesse, and Dan Valentino, a partner at Vauxhall and Radio Radio. Michael Meehan, who runs Valentino’s two kitchens, collaborated on the ice cream menu.
Lewis Block said he’d always been passionate about ice cream and was wowed by the “incomparable texture” of ice cream made with nitrogen. His son Sawyer noted that the method involved not only making ice cream “but also making a show.”
It’s a snazzy shop whose décor owes a lot to a 1950s idea of space travel, and the clouds of vaporizing nitrogen add to the Milky Way vibe. Nitro Space also serves Sail Away Coffee Co.’s cold brew in cans and nitro-brew on tap. There’s also a full line of espresso drinks with beans from nearby Southdown Coffee. “We want to be a hangout bar for people who don’t feel like drinking,” Lewis said.
Nitro Space is at 22 Clinton St., Huntington, thenitrospace.com
You can also get a fix of nitrogen-frozen ice cream at Long Island's other nitrogen shop, Freezology, 73 N. Ocean Ave., Patchogue, 631-307-9747.