When two head chefs follow their hearts and their hunches, classics are reborn. Henrico County-based Nightingale Ice Cream Sandwiches has reinvented the old-fashioned childhood treat, this time using soft homemade sugar or chocolate espresso or peanut butter cookies and rich, all-natural ice cream flavors that smack of adulthood but appeal to all ages.
It’s led by the husband-and-wife team of Brussels-born Xavier Meers and Richmond native Hannah Pollack. You’ve likely heard their names before, as Pollack was most recently the chef at Greenleaf’s Pool Room, while Meers led the kitchens at Belle Vie European Bistro and later Brux’l Cafe, which closed in 2014 and 2016, respectively.
In short, both left restaurant kitchens behind to embark on a new venture full time: remaking an old favorite that Richmond can call its own, but with all-natural, preservative-free ingredients that are locally sourced whenever possible, everything from herbs and berries to beer.
by Brandon Fox
It’s strange to be thinking about ice cream in November. But then it’s even stranger to have had an autumn day that hit 80 degrees this late in the year.
At Nightingale Ice Cream Sandwiches, Hannah Pollack is busy coming up with flavor combos to ease us out of summer. Sure, pumpkin spice is rampant these days. But perhaps a little pumpkin ice cream laced with Hardywood Farmhouse Pumpkin ale syrup, stuffed between gingersnap cookies, will make you revise your opinion. No? What if the sandwich was dipped in white chocolate?
I thought so.
By Alix Bryan
RICHMOND, Va. – Executive Chef Hannah Pollack is excited to answer questions about her new side business as she moves around the kitchen at Greenleaf’s Pool Room, ahead of the lunch crowd.
“Hold on a second, let me write this check,” she says.
A classic summer dessert is being reinvented and refreshed at Nightingale Ice Cream Sandwiches, a brand new specialty dessert producer here in Richmond.
Nightingale is a Richmond based small business operating from the kitchen of Greenleaf's Pool Room, a downtown bar & restaurant where the co-owner of Nightingale, Hannah Pollack (seen below), is Executive Chef.
"It started here in Greenleaf we wanted to do an old school dessert, that's kind what we do here it's old school things updated. Then we started selling them at the farmer's market and people really seemed liked them so it just kind of took off," said Pollack.
Pollack has been working at Greenleaf's since it opened and considers their kitchen to be her home, and the owners to be her family. She named her business after the Oriental Nightingale, a famous pool player and wife of Ralph Greenleaf, for whom Greenleaf's is named.