Annette’s Italian Ice is a little walk-up window in Lincoln Park. It offers many types of ice cream, shakes, and sundaes, but Italian ices make it special. They are natural ices, made with only fruit, sugar, and water. There is no firetruck cherry red to be found here, no exaggerated candy flavors.
The best flavors are based on citrus or other fruit with natural refreshing acidity, such as the popular, sunset-colored blood orange ice. Aside from capturing the flavor of the fruit from its juice, this ice contains little bits of blood orange peel that add welcome balance of bitter and sweet. The richness of citrus and the chill of ice add up to a wonderfully refreshing treat. Grapefruit flavor offers a similar experience, but it is even more refreshing.
Blueberry-lemon flavor is a little sweeter and comes in an attractive violet shade, speckled with the spent skins of crushed berries. Lemon heightens the flavor of the summer berries, yielding a combination of flavors that tastes like the blueberry lemonade of New England summers.
For those that want something besides citrus, we also recommend the watermelon, which cools down hot summer nights and makes sitting out at the tables in front of the stand feel like attending a neighborhood block party.
Sizes at Annette’s run fairly large, but not daunting. Since the ice isn’t very sugary or intense, it’s easy to imagine eating a large in the heat of an afternoon. For light evening strolls, a small will do just fine.