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Van Leeuwen

Nature greeted the opening of the new Van Leeuwen brothers’ ice cream shop in Boerum Hill with a blast of cold, Canadian air. Boerum Hill greeted the brothers with a packed house.

“I wasn’t planning on eating ice cream in the middle of winter,” said Brooklyn Heights resident Greg Estren, “but the cinnamon and vanilla mix is too good.”

Owners Laura O’Neill, husband Ben Van Leeuwen, and brother-in-law Pete Van Leeuwen, quietly opened their second location on Bergen Street on Saturday, and the crowds kept coming in all weekend to enjoy the Greenpoint-based company’s frozen — and hot — treats.

“We love this neighborhood,” said O’Neill. “There are a lot of coffee and ice cream fanatics.”

And not as many ways to satisfy the urge, ever since Blue Marble closed on Atlantic Avenue last year.

The new Van Leeuwen sweet shop is twice the size of the original location and features the same goods as the flagship, including Intelligentsia Coffee, hand-made pastries from Greenpoint pal Chelsea Wilkes and 13 flavors of ice cream.

And this is not normal ice cream, but a hand-crafted mix of milk and cream from grass-fed cows, plus eggs to lend a custardy smoothness. Classic flavors of chocolate (Michel Cluziel, naturally) and vanilla (Tahitian beans, of course) share menu space with ginger and red currant.

“The ice cream is just super delicious,” said Phil Gross, a customer who trekked from Manhattan to sample the treats. “Where else can you find Earl Grey-flavored ice cream?”

If you can’t make it to the new shop, or the flagship in Greenpoint, you can recall those days of running after the ice cream truck by tracking the yellow Van Leeuwen van on Twitter by following @VLAIC. There are also 2 more Van Leeuwen locations, located at 632 Manhattan Avenue in Brooklyn, and 48 E.7th Street on 2nd Avenue in Manhattan.

Where: 81 Bergen St. at Smith Street
Tel: (718) 701–1630
How much: $4.50-$8.50
Cash only.
Updated Jan. 31, 2012
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