Every year, on my birthday, I have an ice cream sundae for lunch. A once-a-year dive into hot fudge and whipped cream does not seem like too much of an indulgence. And now I have a new place to go for my annual rite: the historic James Pharmacy in Old Saybrook has been reimagined as an organic ice cream parlor, specializing in all things local, fresh (and, at least, in the case of the smoothie menu), healthy! The sundaes come dripping in house-made hot fudge and freshly whipped cream, and while my usual preference for topping is peanuts, I was all over the raw trail mix. Who knew that cashews, raisins and dried bananas are the perfect addition to an already very good thing?
For those looking for a healthier snack, go for a smoothie. I’m obsessed with the Chocolate Cherry Almond, a dense blend of banana, cherries, dates, cacao powder almond butter, cashew milk with a squirt of chocolate sauce. My breakfast smoothie kept me satisfied until dinner. On another visit we tried the vegan chocolate pudding ice cream (with coconut milk as a base), and, if I didn’t know better, it could have passed for the real deal. Also on the menu are fresh juices and salads made with produce from Old Lyme’s Long River Farm, Ashlawn Farm coffee drinks and yogurt parfaits. Complex smoothies with lots of ingredient options take a few minutes to whip up, so this isn’t a grab and go spot, but the recent reno has turned the old shop into a pleasant place for a leisurely bite.