Root-beer floats are kids’ stuff. So head down to Eastern Standard in Kenmore Square, ask for the dessert menu — note: not the drink menu — and order yourself a beer-beer float.
It makes more sense than you might think. Suspending three generous scoops of vanilla ice cream in either an Imperial pint of Fuller’s London Porter or a stemmed goblet of Belgian abbey ale Leffe Blonde, these counterintuitive concoctions are surprisingly consistent and flavorful.
Back in the day, Eastern Standard pastry chef Chris Pirro used to head to the late, lamented Deli Haus after punk shows at the late, lamented Rat. There, he would sometimes partake in a Haus specialty, the Guinness float. The Kenmore area has changed a lot since then, but Pirro hasn’t forgotten: he’s created these beery confections as tributes to the old days of the Square, using slightly more refined ingredients.
He tried about 10 different beer/ice cream combos — not all of them, he admits, very appetizing — before finally settling on Fuller’s and Leffe. The secret, you might have guessed, is to pick a beer that has an inherent sweetness to it. So Fuller’s, with its robust, cocoa/chocolate notes, fits the bill. As does Leffe, with its scintillating hints of honey and its subtle citrus tang. Topped with chocolate shavings and nutmeg, respectively, each is delicious in its own way.
As the ice cream melts, the Fuller’s takes on the character of a chocolate shake, and the Leffe recalls a melted creamsicle. Well, just like those, but ... different.
Available for $7 at Eastern Standard, 528 Comm Ave, in Boston. Call 617.532.9100.