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Jul 5, 1999 08:31 PM


  • m


I'm on the hunt for a good "gelato"
place in New York (Manhattan or
Brooklyn, pref). If you've got one
without too many crazy-arse
american flavorizations, I'd like it
best. I've spent far too long trying
to devise metaphors that explain the
appeal of this darn stuff, so I'll bring
some folks' tastebuds to the answer.


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  1. j
    Josh Mittleman

    Alas, I've never had anything approaching good Italian
    gelato in NY. I have vivid memories of Vivoli in
    Florence, especially the zabigloni and the wild
    strawberry flavors.

    I vaguely recall Eric Asimov recommending someplace
    recently, but I can't remember the details.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Josh Mittleman

      I, too, have never had anything quite like glato in
      Italy - it may be the milk used there, or some process
      we americans can't quite replicate. Cones isn't bad,
      though their hazelnut leaves a bit to be desired. I
      know Ferrara has gelato, which might be okay, but I
      think it's impossible to get the real thing. You know
      what I would suggest? Try "Custard Beach," by the
      Winter Garden at the World Trade Center, and soon at
      Grand Central Station. It's the creamiest, smoothest
      ice cream I've ever had, and every day they have a new
      and often delicious flavor. Gingersnap and hazelnut
      are particularly wonderful.

      1. re: Mara G

        Mmmm. Custard Beach. Don't know why their 8th St.
        store closed, but I'm glad they are still
        proliferating. As any self-respecting Western New
        Yorker will tell you, it's not ice cream. It's custard.
        Really good, but a different thing, richer than ice
        cream, made with more eggs.

        Interesting flavors are good, but to get a real sense
        of the quality of a, um, frozen dessert, you should
        always try the vanilla. Custard Beach's is killer.

        1. re: MU

          Actually, this self-respecting native New Yorker knows
          that lots of things pass for ice cream, and that
          Custard Beach may use more egg yolks, but their product
          is significantly lower in fat than most commercial ice
          creams. And yes, the vanilla is unbelievable, as is
          their Creme Brulee, which elevates vanilla to a whole
          new plane.

          1. re: Mara G.

            In NYC, all frozen, ice-cream-like substances may be
            described as ice cream, but in my native land, six
            hours to the west of here, this would remind one of a
            question you might hear in Georgia: "What kind of Coke
            would you like?"

            Actually, I have memories of standing in long, sweaty
            lines in front of Abbott's Frozen Custard and having
            similar conversations there. I can't remember how well
            their product compares to Custard Beach (probably
            unfavorably), but at the time it was ambrosia.

            1. re: MU
              Frank Language

              MU writes:
              "In NYC, all frozen, ice-cream-like substances may be
              described as ice cream..."

              In fact, this sets my teeth on edge; people will
              describe a Popsicle as "ice cream" because they're too
              lazy to come up with the correct term. Face it: the
              general public is *stoopid*; I gave a kid some
              strawberries once and he goes, "Thanks for the
              cherries." (Does this belong in "Not About Food"?)

              (I also must acknowledge that being ignorant is
              different than being plain old stupid; as Frank Zappa
              once said: "Stupidity has a certain charm - ignorance
              does not.")

      2. re: Josh Mittleman

        Vivoli is beyond description. Best flavor without a
        doubt is Riso!

        1. re: Dan

          My wife agrees. I like the choc chip better. Vivolis is truly world famous.

          BTW, do try Cones on bleeker. No riso, though. Good whiskey choc chip

      3. Didn't see the Asimov article, and I've never had
        gelato in Italy, but a place called Scoops, on Bleecker
        near 7th Ave, right down the block from Faicco's,
        doesn't suck.

        3 Replies
        1. re: MU

          Oops. Just saw the lemon ice posting in Best... The
          place is called Cones, not Scoops. Haven't been there
          for a while.

          1. re: MU

            Sorry but who ever posted Scoops as an ice cream place is not correct. Scoops sells clothing. You must be referring to CONES, which is at 272 Bleecker Street right off of Seventh Avenue going East. I think their gelato is great!!! It doesn't taste like plastic!! Anna, their fruit sorbets are absolutely delicious!!

            Give it a try. You won't be disappointed!!

            1. re: Anna

              Read up this thread a little, Anna -- I caught the
              mistake myself. But thanks for the clarification

          2. r
            Rachel Perlow

            I recommend Bertolotti's in Cliffside Park, NJ.

            Not only does it have the best gelato (a few
            "American" flavors, but my favorite is the hazelnut)
            but pretty excellent pastries, too. The location in
            Cliffside Park is a cute little dessert shop/parlor
            with table or counter service.

            They also supply many restaurants (in NJ & NYC) with
            their gelato from their "factory". I just called them
            (201-941-9298): it is also available in pints at
            Fairway Market in Fort Lee, and in NYC at Perogina,
            Balducci, Citerella, Georgio Armani Cafe, and the
            Vinegar Factory (I suppose it is served at the shops
            and in pints at the fancy grocery stores). I hope all
            this diversification doesn't ruin the original shop!

            1. The original comment has been removed