by Ariston Anderson
Every summer surfers and sun-seekers visit Rockaway, Queens to join the locals in enjoying some of NYC's finest beaches. Until recently, however, dining options were limited to the typical pizza and bar food dotting the beach area. But this year, a New Jersey classic, DiCosmo's famous ice, takes up shop next to Rockaway Taco, a David Selig venture that opened last summer, to form a local food destination changing the way we look at beach food. The two businesses share a beach shack that is quickly becoming a reason in and of itself to visit the gorgeous Rockaways during summertime.
The DiCosmo family brought over their secret family recipe for ices in 1915 to Elizabeth, New Jersey, where visitors often make the trek today to try the famous cold treat. In June, Fourth-generation John DiCosmo brought the recipe to Rockaway, making fresh batches daily of flavors like coconut, lime, chocolate, raspberry, grapefruit, pineapple, banana and of course lemon. It's one of the few ice spots that make ice like it should be made using four ingredients (fresh fruit, juice, water and a little bit of sugar) only.
After eating a DiCosmo ice, you'll never be able to eat Rita's, Ralph's, or any of the dozens of others in the city that make theirs from a mix. If you're lucky enough to catch DiCosmo on one of his experimental days, you might even get to try one of his one of his organic ice creams or agave-sweetened ices, which will soon be a menu staple.
Over at Rockaway Taco, Chef Andrew Day Field is on the grill daily, serving up some of the finest fish tacos in New York. Field worked for years around Mexico studying street food to find the perfect recipe for his Baja-style fried tilapia tacos, which he serves with spicy mayonnaise and guacamole. There's also a chorizo or a tofu option for those who prefer more or less meat, as well as quesadillas, corn and cucumber with chile and lime.
Be sure to try the salsa negra, an extra spicy sauce that comes from a Puerto Vallarta recipe that took Field four years to learn. He recommends eating the tacos on their outdoor patio, rather than getting them to go, because the optimal lifespan of a taco ends at just under four minutes.
Rockaway Taco also recently started serving a weekend breakfast before 11am of chilaquiles with a fried egg, fresh fruit juices, Jack's cold-brew iced coffee and yogurt (coming soon) sourced from the farmer's market, like many of their ingredients.
DiCosmo's Ice Rockaway and Rockaway Taco
Beach 96th Street at Rockaway Beach Boulevard
Queens, New York 11694 map
tel. +1 347 213 7466