Living the restaurant dream: Something Sweet owners will open a fifth place | The Dish #Living #restaurant #dream #Sweet #owners #open #place #Dish Welcome to GistFeed
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Nicole Li and her husband, Frank Lin, began their foray into the chillier side of restaurant life at 314 New Dorp Lane. In 2011, they established Something Sweet, an ice cream and dessert shop where everything is made from scratch.
A Staten Island fun fact: it was the first restaurant in the borough with a dedicated menu of authentic Taiwanese bubble tea.
On this episode of The Dish, Li and Lin’s parlor of cool turns up unique flavors and sweet surprises — like a black-hued ice cream. Truly a conversation piece, its charcoal presence stands out among the buckets of mellow pastels and other colorful scoops that smack of fruity deliciousness.
Milled black sesame seeds blended with cream bring an ironic bright and milky sweetness to the palate. The combination riffs on a childhood treat Lin knew as a child in Fujian, China. His grandmother made congee from sesame seeds ground between two stones into a powder. She added it to the porridge, sometimes with peanuts, combined with sugar, said Lin.
The concept for Something Sweet started with Nicole, who worked through high school and college at a Brooklyn ice cream parlor. In fact, while at John Dewey High School, a teacher’s assignment encouraged students to dream of their futures. She planned out an ice cream shop.
By the time she was 26 and married to Frank, the family encouraged her to take on the corner parlor, former home to Sedutto’s. At the time, the empty storefront was a few doors down from the Lin’s established business, Fresh Tortillas.
Over the 11 years so far in the ice cream industry, Lin and Li weathered winter’s slow season by branching out into other desserts like mini-cheesecakes, occasion cakes and crunchy, chewy macarons made from almond flour and egg whites. Nicole’s knowledge of the product is completely self-taught.
With family, New Dorp residents Li and Lin dove into the savory side of the restaurant realm as well. They opened Hawaii Poke Bowl in Bulls Head followed up by a second location at The Boulevard.
Recently, the couple announced a new place — Chick N’ Burger. It will be a few doors up from Something Sweet at 302 New Dorp Lane in a former massage parlor. And it makes five restaurants in Li and Lin’s collection of food spots, including a Something Sweet in Bensonhurst.
Chick N’ Burger will feature snack fare like bento boxed chicken cutlet, braised pork and pork bellies plus popcorn shrimp and sweet ‘n’ sour fish fillet. Bubble tea and fruit tea can be sipped alongside noodle dishes, fried chicken “wingettes” and a salty squid leg. There also are “burgers” from $4.99 to $6.59 with versions of luncheon meat-egg, fish fillet, beef, chicken, crispy chicken and spicy crispy chicken. The restaurant will open in early fall.
For now, tune into this week’s Dish to see how bubble tea is made with prepared tapioca pearls. Let’s just say it’s a process! Also check out some of the interesting additions to milk-based and fruited teas like custard and disappearing boba bubbles that pop immediately when put in the mouth.
Something Sweet can be found at 314 New Dorp Lane, New Dorp; 347-566-3151; Somethingsweethomemade.com.
Pamela Silvestri is Advance Food Editor. She can be reached at email@example.com. The Dish is a weekly live broadcast from the