The Ridgefield Ice Cream Shop looks like an ordinary franchised soft-serve stand, which is what it was years ago. Now it is independent, and proprietor Felix Lechner is fanatical about maintaining the highest soft-serve standards, which he believes contemporary ice cream machines cannot uphold. The machines he uses do not pump up the custard with air; instead, they deliver a dense, creamy product that is smooth as silk and packed with flavor. Felix told us that in order to keep his machines going, he is always on the prowl for old Carvel shops that are being dismantled and sold for parts. Because the kind of high-butterfat machines he uses are no longer manufactured, the old equipment is his best source of parts to keep his own running well.
The menu is huge, including all kinds of sundaes, milk shakes, and ice cream sandwiches, as well as order-ahead ice cream cakes for parties in all sizes. Cones (which are an especially tasty cookie-style) are available with their ice cream rolled in chocolate or multi-colored jimmies or dipped in either cherry or chocolate-flavored coating; but we highly recommend that any newcomer start with nothing but a cup or cone of plain ice cream. Chocolate or vanilla: each is a paradigm for its flavor; and after one lick, no lesser soft-serve ice cream will ever satisfy.