CHICAGO—The staff members at theWit Chicago know this to be true: There’s always room for ice cream. Putting a spin on the classic frozen treat, the hotel has set up a mobile ice cream cart with housemade desserts.
“theWit engages all of the senses to provide guests and visitors with the mantra, ‘more experience than hotel.’ Offering an inspired hospitality experience filled with striking originality and whimsical delight, it stands as an homage to creativity and expression for curious, witty locals and travelers alike,” said Chef Toni Roberts. “We try to instill that brand mantra in a lot of the menus we plan. There is a huge emphasis on fun, creative and witty offerings on our catering menus as well as in our outlets: State and Lake Chicago Tavern and Roof on theWit.”
How’d they do it? The hotel had an extra rolling freezer that wasn’t being used, gave it a retro-style makeover and, presto, it’s now a mobile ice cream cart. Roberts wrote the ice cream novelties menu, ordered the molds and had a wrap designed for the outside of the cart.
As with many great ideas, getting the ice cream cart concept set up and rolling was a fairly quick process. Sporting a sliding glass top that enables Roberts to showcase the curated frozen desserts and novelties, the self-serve cart means guests can help themselves while on break from a meeting or during an event without sacrificing the quality of the frozen product, explained Roberts.
“We wanted a modern-vintage look with bright colors. We also wanted to give it its own look so the branding could be used throughout the hotel and in the outlets,” she said. “The novelties all have the label with the item handwritten in the blank white space. A few of the bars, sandwiches and cups are available in State and Lake Chicago Tavern on the dessert menu. All of the items are novelties: pops, cups and sandwiches. We have seasonal sorbet cups available that don’t contain dairy.”
Currently, the cart features the following offerings:
- Tropical Pop—passion fruit, mango, coconut
- 5 Alive Pop—lemon-orange creamsicle, lime fizzies
- Minted Fudgesicle Mini Pop—Valrhona bittersweet chocolate, fresh mint
- Raspberry Truffle Bar—raspberry ice cream, fudge brownie, ganache bits
- Banana Nut Bar—milk chocolate banana hazelnut ice cream, hazelnut banana blondie
- Key Lime Pie Sandwich—Key lime ice cream, toasted meringue, house graham
- Seasonal house-churned ice cream and sorbet cups
Is your mouth watering yet? Guests are encouraged to book in advance for availability. There’s only one ice cream cart at the moment, according to Roberts, but the hotel is happy to make a spur of the moment break happen when possible.
“The ice cream break is a great addition to social functions such as weddings and birthdays,” she said. “I’m excited to give it some holiday flare for the upcoming season.”