Destination Ice Cream: Mister Dips at Pier 17

In the same model as Shake Shack, where an upscale chef goes low brow with a fast food burger joint, comes Mister Dips, the NoHo Hospitality/Andrew Carmellini (Locanda Verde, Little Park) vehicle now in a prominent storefront corner on Pier 17. It was opened originally at the William Vale Hotel in Williamsburg out of an airstream trailer parked in the hotel’s courtyard. This is its third location.

I’d like to rave about it, since I am certainly a fan of low brow anything especially when it comes paired with some of the best views in Lower Manhattan. But you won’t find any reinvention of the wheel when it comes to a burgers, shakes and fries (there’s usually chicken, which is sold out temporarily and an Impossible burger). Ok, so yes, the fries are waffles and some of the shakes are boozy. But the flavors are predictable. For a bit of a departure, order the bbq bacon dip burger, which comes with spicy slaw to liven it up. And someone else can fill us in on the dips — soft ice cream with a hard shell. (Not my bag.)

It is still one of the best stroll + food destinations out there, especially if you want to do something fun but don’t have a lot of time. Mister Dips definitely adds to what seemed like an almost dead Pier 17 — it’s two premier restaurants can’t even be seen from the approach down the pier, and the upper floors are empty till you get to the lawns on the roof (which are always sold out). But with the new Momofuku Ssäm Bar (relocated from the East Village) and the late summer opening of Carne Mare (an Italian chophouse, also from Carmellini) it’s more lively. Pier 15 was packed, kids in graduation gowns were posing for photos with the harbor in the background and there were two different exercise classes going while we were there.

The Fulton Street beer garden in the middle of the pedestrian plaza, with food and bev run by Cobble & Co, just reopened and also had a nice scene. I’ve heard folks complain about this place, but it sure looked like fun to me. NB: the picnic benches on the western end are open to the public — you can grab drinks from Cobble & Co, or not.