Illustration: Tiago Majuelos

Carry-out ice-cream pints at Caffè Panna, “shoebox” lunches to go at the Africa Center, and a softer Jewish biscotti.

The Collaboration

Try Ops’ new gluten-free pizza.

Illustration: Tiago Majuelos

Ops, 346 Himrod St., nr. Wyckoff Ave., Bushwick; 718-386-4009.

For some New York carbivores, actually good gluten-free pizza amounts to the holy grail. Brooklyn’s Ops is now trying to satisfy demand by offering Knead Love Bakery’s naturally fermented gluten-free dough, made from oats, buckwheat, millet, and teff, among other things, as an option for every one of its round wood-fired pies ($2 surcharge). And for a pizza-pious kitchen that stocks vegan cheese but, according to the takeout menu, strongly advises against it in certain cases, that’s saying something.

The Museum Show

Celebrate the impact of the African diaspora on American food.

Illustration: Tiago Majuelos

The Africa Center, 1280 Fifth Ave., at 110th St.; tickets from $7 to $15, $21 to $29 with lunch, at

After a two-year pandemic postponement, the Museum of Food and Drink finally launches “African/American: Making the Nation’s Table” in partnership with the Africa Center in Harlem (February 23 through June 19). Chief among the attractions: the refurbished Ebony test kitchen — a ’70s-psychedelic font of recipes for the magazine’s “Date With a Dish” column — and the Legacy Quilt, a 14-by-28-foot panorama stitching together the culinary contributions of Boston caterers and Napa vintners, urban farmers and southern pitmasters, plus local heroes like restaurateur Ann Wells and historian Arturo Alfonso Schomburg. Takeout “shoebox” lunches, devised by chefs including Adrienne Cheatham and Kwame Onwuachi, evoke a time when train-traveling African Americans, refused in-transit service, were obliged to pack their meals.

The Unseasonal Reopening

Lick ice cream in a snowstorm.

Illustration: Tiago Majuelos

Caffè Panna, 77 Irving Pl.

When Hallie Meyer opened Caffè Panna in the fall of 2019, she downplayed pints, preferring to focus on distinctive sundaes and affogato extravaganzas. The pandemic changed all that; Meyer pivoted from on-premises parlor to production facility, expanding into local delivery, wholesale, and nationwide shipping through Goldbelly. Demand outgrew equipment capacity, and Meyer shut down to renovate, tripling production and quadrupling storage space. Tables have been replaced with freezers, and service is still through the takeout window, but even the season’s first serious snowfall didn’t stop fans from snaking down the block to welcome her back on opening day. The ice-cream upstart is already plotting her next project: soft serve with Amano-chocolate dips.

The Endorsement

Sip a Scotch toddy and laugh at the cold.

Illustration: Tiago Majuelos

Oft maligned and misunderstood, the toddy is one of the great joys of the winter months. Roaring fires and Swedish saunas have nothing on hot toddies. When done right, the drink has an almost cartoonlike ability to lift your spirits and buck you up. The instantaneous effect of a forkful of spinach on Popeye’s musculoskeletal system is the image that springs to mind. As with all three-ingredient cocktails, the trick to making a good one is to embrace simplicity. Follow toddy guru David Wondrich’s advice and keep it hot (preheat your glass or mug), think small and strong (two ounces of booze, two ounces of water), and resist the urge to gussy it up. All you need is sugar, preferably demerara; boiling-hot water; and the smokiest Islay Scotch you can get your hands on. We like it with lemon peel, too. For a history and recipe, such as it is, read the toddy entry in Wondrich and Noah Rothbaum’s new Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails.

The Once-Baked Cookie

Experience the softer side of mandelbrot.

Illustration: Tiago Majuelos

The two defining characteristics of mandelbrot (a.k.a. Jewish biscotti) are that it’s twice baked and flavored with almonds (mandel means almond in Yiddish and German). Wandel, the pandemic-born brand that Stephanie Berlin launched in her Brooklyn kitchen when she was furloughed from her film-marketing job, is neither of those things. Berlin makes the mandelbrot of her suburban-Chicago childhood according to her mother’s recipe: once baked, packed with enough chocolate chips to channel a blondie vibe, and, in the case of the “OG” flavor, dusted with cinnamon sugar. The softer, sweeter version of the traditional treat won’t chip your tooth, but it’s still sturdy enough to dunk in your coffee or tea.

Want more stories like this one? Subscribe now to support our journalism and get unlimited access to our coverage. If you prefer to read in print, you can also find this article in the February 14, 2022, issue of New York Magazine.