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Grom cometh

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meancougar May 3, 2007 09:02 AM

Cannot wait for this place to open:
http://buzzfeed.com/buzz/Grom

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  1. h
    harrison RE: meancougar May 3, 2007 09:14 AM

    i live right on that corner..i'm afraid...very afraid.

    while i still can't get decent chinese food on the uws, dessert is not a problem!

    1 Reply
    1. re: harrison
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      Cpalms RE: harrison May 3, 2007 11:25 AM

      I walked by it last night....it looks GOOD!! and regardless of whether it is good or bad UWSiders are going to line down the block for it, therw was a long line lastnight at that crappy place Yolato.....I the sign on the door said the gelato is free on saturday

    2. thesu RE: meancougar May 5, 2007 09:04 PM

      Well, has anyone been? Is it worth $5? How does it compare to Il Lab and the like?

      5 Replies
      1. re: thesu
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        FattyDumplin RE: thesu May 6, 2007 07:55 AM

        tried to wait in line yesterday. at 7pm, the wait was almost 2 hours. it may be worth $5. it's most likely not worth 2 hours of my time. will be trying today.

        1. re: FattyDumplin
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          FattyDumplin RE: FattyDumplin May 6, 2007 08:12 PM

          Stopped by today. Sampled a couple flavors. They have a Lemon granita that was awesome - made with Lemons from Amalfi. Reminded me of the most wonderful granita i've ever had, which was from a small cart at the end of the road in Positano. Not too sweet, bursting with fresh lemon flavor, and just the right mix of liquid to ice crystal. Also tried the pistachio, which is my favorite gelato flavor. It's a little on the sweet side, but the nutty aroma really shines.

          Not cheap by any means... $5.31 for a small. One guy's eyes nearly popped out when the cashier said his large cost $7.50. But by mid afternoon, the line was 20 deep again. not sure how many people will be willing to pay this much on a regular basis.

          1. re: FattyDumplin
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            nativeNYer RE: FattyDumplin May 6, 2007 10:34 PM

            it tasted like the granita from positano??!?!?! oh no! i'm gonna be poor.
            when is the best time to go?

        2. re: thesu
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          Lucia RE: thesu May 6, 2007 08:01 AM

          I went yesterday and waited almost an hour for free gelato (had I known the line was moving so slowly, I wouldn't have waited). I sampled 4 flavors: fiordilatte, crema di grom, chocolate, and pistachio. While it was good, the flavors were a little dull to me, and the texture of some of the gelati was too hard. After Grom, I was walking through Chelsea Market and got a sample of L'Arte del Gelato, which I found myself more excited about than Grom. I also prefer Otto to Grom. It's been a while since I've been to Il Lab, so I can't make that comparison. It might be worth going for a taste, but I'm not rushing back to pay $4.75 for a small.

          1. re: Lucia
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            Cpalms RE: Lucia May 7, 2007 05:54 AM

            I put up with the 1/2 hour long line on (which was far different from Shake Shack, not peaceful in a park) to ahve the the Gelato....Well frankly I thought it was well worth it. I thought it was a full notch better than Il Laboratorio or Otto. The consistency and depth of flavor is what you would find in Italy (very much like Giulitti in Rome) I sampled Chocolate, Chocolate chip, pistachio, casserta, and lemon sorbet....so it was expensive and slow but I would think they will get that figured out and the lines will be monumental all summer long....

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          forklein RE: meancougar May 7, 2007 07:30 AM

          I wouldn't call it "gelato artigianale" by any standar.
          They import their prepared mixes from italy, then defrost them and then make the gelato.
          Artigianal gelati?
          I waited for an hour to try and was not impressed at all, even the selection was poor, only 20 flavors? I will not be back, not great as a real fresh gelato.
          besides, do they really think that because they use Mineral water on the sorbet we are going to pay any stupidity they want?

          1. p
            poogamgap RE: meancougar May 10, 2007 08:57 AM

            I live three blocks away. The 40-person line has been a problem that I've forced myself to overcome nearly every day since it opened. On weekday afternoons, the line shrinks to 5-10 people, and you can get served in a few minutes.

            The May flavor, Luna Rossa, is outstanding. Last time, not in the mood for something heavy, I tried a small lemon sorbet and red grapefruit sorbet. The lemon is outstanding. My favorite gelato flavor is the zabaione -- highly recommended, as long as you don't mind a liquer-ish flavor.

            I realize that many people complain about the price, but for me, that kind of money, for this experience, is insignificant. Then again, I'm extremely wealthy.

            4 Replies
            1. re: poogamgap
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              kenito799 RE: poogamgap May 10, 2007 09:40 AM

              "Then again, I'm extremely wealthy."

              LOL--finally one of you admits it! I respect that.

              If the gelato is as good as Grom in Florence, it will be worth the $5 from time to time. I had the Malaga there made Pedro Ximenez. And I am not extremely wealthy (especially after spending all those euros over there). By the way, a small was only 2 euros in Florence.

              1. re: kenito799
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                weezie1818 RE: kenito799 May 10, 2007 10:13 AM

                Went last night because my husband is an ice cream addict so we decided to have it for dinner. Wait was about 20 minutes at 7:45, very UWS, all friendly-like with dogs and kids. I second that the May special flavor Luna was outstanding, as was the intense chocolate. The vanilla was very intense, but like the pistachio, I thought it was too sweet (think Dreamery is the best for vanilla). The small size is miniscule, but you can have two flavors in there, and it's perfect portion control (give me that over a vat of the chemical stuff any day). We will be back.

                1. re: kenito799
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                  piccola RE: kenito799 May 10, 2007 05:29 PM

                  2 Euros is like $5, or close.
                  Anyway, I'm kinda glad it's expensive, because if it's really that good, at least the cost will hold me back. :)

                2. re: poogamgap
                  Ell Gee RE: poogamgap Jun 1, 2007 03:45 PM

                  That last line cracks me up.

                  I am on the other pole from wealthy, yet with limited time in the city (and an even more limited budget) I waited on line with all the other poor sods a couple of weeks ago. It was worth every penny and every minute of waiting. Better than most of what I've had in Italy, and as good as the gelato my brother-in-law used to make in his now-defunct gelateria.

                  My only hesitation is that while samples are encouraged, Grom doesn't display its gelato. I can understand why it's easier to scoop out of stainless-steel buckets when you're getting that kind of traffic, but it really does cut down on the sensuous aspect of nicely displayed offerings.

                  By the way, the majority of gelaterias in this country use the same supplier of base from Italy. It's the fresh ingredients (or lack of) added during mixing that makes all the difference. Some shops, even expensive ones, add nothing. So Grom is certainly justified in tooting its horn about the sources of its ingredients.

                  Grom's lemon gelato is friggin' stupendous.

                3. d
                  David W RE: meancougar May 12, 2007 10:47 PM

                  I'll second the Luna Rossa flavor-it mixed very nicely with the cinnamon...by the way, the price shown on the boards does not include tax. Is it worth it? I think it is-the best I've had outside of Italy.

                  1. thesu RE: meancougar May 13, 2007 09:06 PM

                    I went today and it was very delicious. I got the gianduja and crema di Grom (with biscuits and chocolate chips). It was better than my current favorite, il Lab, but for the price, I'd rather go to il Lab.

                    What people neglect to mention is that the lines are long not necessarily because there's lot of customers, but because the scoopers are slow. With five people behind the counter, the line still moves at a snail's pace. It takes them several minutes to scoop the gelato.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: thesu
                      jb8765 RE: thesu May 13, 2007 09:38 PM

                      I live around the corner but have yet to go because there has been 25 people on line minimum every time I pass! Nuts. I had a taste of my friend's after she went there and it was not bad. But I still like Cones (Bleecker St. just off wash sq park) better, more to come when I finally taste it for real.

                    2. c
                      chocokitty RE: meancougar May 14, 2007 03:13 AM

                      As much as I love Grom, I've been terribly disappointed in what's happening very recently with the way they serve their gelato cups. The servers are LEVELING the darn things! I mean, isn't this heresy? To show you what I mean, just jump to my post on my visit from the past Thursday.

                      http://thewanderingeater.wordpress.co...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: chocokitty
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                        chocokitty RE: chocokitty May 18, 2007 03:56 AM

                        It seems from my recent email to Grom complaining about leveling their cups is due to the workers' inexperience; not business policy. Here's the post about their apology to me.

                        http://thewanderingeater.wordpress.co...

                      2. b
                        Buttercream RE: meancougar May 18, 2007 10:17 PM

                        I went on Wednesday around 6-ish. I waited 8-10 minutes in line and tried the
                        Gianduja, the tiramisu and the hazelnut. All were excellent, but since I live nowhere
                        near that area, I will get my gelato downtown. Definitely worth it if you live on the UWS.

                        11 Replies
                        1. re: Buttercream
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                          nativeNYer RE: Buttercream May 19, 2007 11:53 PM

                          finally went this past wed. about 9-ish in a light drizzle. the line was about 3-4 people deep but it took at least 20 minutes to get my gelato. they definitely, definitely scoop slowly. i watched one guy try to make a cone 3 times before he was satisfied with it. [note: i didn't say, "until he got it right"]. the scoopers are definitely inexperienced and it's clear that this helps to create long lines... to their advantage. they are also a bit unorganized and i'm not sure it helps to have one cashier who doesn't scoop with scoopers who can't ring you up.

                          i'm not a huge ice cream/gelato fan (although if i lived in italy, i would be) but the gelato was very, very good (cinnamon and extranoir chocolate) but not like what i had in sorrento. i worry that they are really trying to make big bucks (expensive, cheap help, long line image, etc.) but i will go again b/c i live nearby, it is really good and i will have to keep my eye out on this one to see how it develops. i'm not quite sure yet.

                          chocokitty, thanks for sharing your correspondence with us. i liked the way he handled your complaint. it will be interesting to see if they are continuing to flatten and, if they are, i will certainly email them as well. come to think of it, my gelato was closer to being flattened instead of generously scooped but i wasn't really paying attention b/c i was distracted by the service AND i had read your post after i went. anyway, i'm curious to see where things stand with this place two months from now.

                          1. re: nativeNYer
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                            chocokitty RE: nativeNYer May 20, 2007 03:53 AM

                            You're welcome, nativeNYer.
                            I'm planning to visit there the coming week and see if they did keep their word...before I give them a piece of my mind again.

                            1. re: chocokitty
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                              nativeNYer RE: chocokitty May 20, 2007 10:28 AM

                              please keep us posted. i will stop by within the next two weeks (not sooner as I don't want to become addicted.... yet) and do the same. they have potential; i hope they don't ruin it for themselves.

                              1. re: nativeNYer
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                                chocokitty RE: nativeNYer Jun 2, 2007 04:51 PM

                                Even though I'm reporting this a bit late, but Grom's employees are inconsistent with their scooping. I've seen some with almost leveled cups done by one employee, while mine was modestly mounded by another. I don't understand why is it so hard for them to not level their gelatos. Are they careless, stingy, or they aren't trained properly?

                                If you would like to read my post about that day with photos, here's the link:
                                http://thewanderingeater.wordpress.co...

                              2. re: chocokitty
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                                Westrite RE: chocokitty May 21, 2007 09:52 AM

                                Funny enough - we got two cones this Friday night from two different servers. Mine was leveled, my husband got a heaping cup. Manager was right there, too. So the problem wasn't fixed by Friday night.

                                This was my second trip - my husband's first. Had pistachio the first time and thought it was good, but not $5.14 good and I actually think it tasted like coffee not pistachio. Husband had stracciatella this time and I had the plain with choc chips from ecuador. We sat inside and I asked my husband what he thought. He was reading the posters on the wall and he said, I can almost taste the social consciousness of the ingredients.

                                1. re: Westrite
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                                  nativeNYer RE: Westrite May 21, 2007 11:55 AM

                                  your husband hit the nail on the head. thanks for the update. everyone should email the manager if unhappy. if enough people speak up, maybe they'll do something about it. [sigh] i agree it's not $5.14 good. it seems like they give the equivalent of 2-3 LEVEL tablepoons for the small cup.

                                  1. re: nativeNYer
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                                    caphill2320 RE: nativeNYer Jun 4, 2007 11:46 AM

                                    I stopped by with my mom (who lives about two blocks away) and only waited about 15 minutes. Honestly, not all that impressed. It's definitely good, don't get me wrong, and as good as what I've had in Italy, but the server we got was VERY stingy and scraped away half the gelato. For the $6, I'd rather take the subway down to Cones on Bleecker where I can never finish what they give me and there are lots of flavors.

                                    We only tried the gelato though, could the sorbets be better? I could see a bigger taste difference in fruit flavors...

                                    1. re: caphill2320
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                                      nativeNYer RE: caphill2320 Jun 5, 2007 07:18 PM

                                      i went on sunday afternoon in the rain. i really want to like this place and, heck, I'm Italian-American so I sort of feel a bit proud but AGGGHHHH!!!!

                                      they take FOREVER to serve people and when they finally decide to take the next order (after looking around, cleaning the tops of spotless bins and completing a scooped masterpiece for each customer), it really takes forever b/c they scoop and fix and fix and fix and sculpt and remove the excess and remove more excess and sculpt again. perhaps they are really concerned about whether they can run a successful business in this country. This must be a huge step for them and, perhaps, what we are seeing is their insecurity about this venture in that they are relying on the long lines to ensure business and need to bring in as much money for as little gelato as possible.

                                      The woman I got kept scraping inside the bin forever . Not sure if it was frozen/hard ... I don't know. Maybe the explanation has something to do with a factor I am too ignorant to understand. I am not exaggerating at all. I waited in line for at least a half hour with about 8 people in front of me and once I got to the front, I really, really watched what they did. I came to the conclusion that they want the long lines to accumulate (there's absolutely no energy or sense of hustling behind that counter) and they are extremely cautious of how much gelato they are distributing. at some point, i saw the manager (?) take a careful look as one of his team members was scooping.

                                      I've never seen this before. Everyewhere else, people just scoop and serve. If there's a little extra, it's okay. They are treating this as if it's caviar. I got a cone (crema di grom and stracciatella) b/c I didn't want to be angered by the semi-level cup everyone else seemed to be getting. while the meliga biscuits in the crema di grom was to die for, the gelato did not do it for me and come nowhere near what I had in Sorrento.

                                      ONE ADDITIONAL POINT: AS I STOOD IN LINE, I GAZED UP AT THE NORMAL CUPFUL OF GELATO CLEARLY ILLUSTRATED ON THE HUGE SIGNS POSTED EVERYWHERE. IF YOU COMPARE THE SIZE OF THAT SERVING TO WHAT THEY ARE DISTRIBUTING, YOU JUST GOTTA LAUGH. THEY NEED TO TAKE DOWN THOSE SIGNS BEFORE SOMEONE POINTS TO THEIR CUP AND HOLDS IT UP TO THE SIGN. i WISH THEY WOULD HEAR US AND ACCEPT THIS FEEDBACK INSTEAD OF DISMISSING IT AS NONSENSE.

                                      1. re: nativeNYer
                                        Ora RE: nativeNYer Jun 5, 2007 07:50 PM

                                        Well, in case anyone is wondering, NativeNYer is 1000% accurate in the description above. I simply dont get Grom's operation at all. Further, I dont get the 80 person deep lines I see on a regular basis. At $5.14, they need to work on the service level of the joint. The servers are S L O W, constantly cleaning, pushing free tastes on people when the line is 80 (no exaggeration at all), and it takes extra time to pay too. The gelato is in fact "good", but it simply isn't worth $5.14 for about 5 small bites and it doesnt at all match what I tasted in Rome. Back to Hagaan Daz for me.

                                        1. re: Ora
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                                          nativeNYer RE: Ora Jun 5, 2007 07:54 PM

                                          I appreciate the confirmation, Ora. See ya at Hagaan Daz. I had the same exact thought walking back home that night. By the way, both times I was there, I was standing in front of the cashier who just looked right through me instead of taking my money. So, yes, I agree it also takes a really long time to pay... to ensure a mob scene? I'm bummed out about this.

                                          1. re: nativeNYer
                                            Ora RE: nativeNYer Jun 5, 2007 08:40 PM

                                            Incidently, I tried the UWS Yolato. Yolato costs $3.99 for a very normal size regular cup. Compared to Grom, Yolato is giving away the store. Regrettfully however, Yolato is nothing special. Once again, good ole Hagaan Daz beats the competition-heck Jubilee Market has a whole pint for $3.99! I can eat that all night long...

                          2. w
                            Will4Food RE: meancougar Jun 6, 2007 10:23 AM

                            This is truly the EMPEROR'S NEW CONES...overpriced, and the quality varies...Been there twice...1st time ordered a medium at 6 bucks...tried two flavors (pistachio--tasteless and a chocolate hazelnut--good). Unfortunately, the server didn't fill the very small cup....while the top was in full scoop, the cup underneath was almost empty...very careless. On my second (and last) visit, I tried the dark chocolate for $5.25...the texture was great, but the flavor was slightly more complex than a Mr. Softee cone. Try the gelato place in the Chelsea Market---better quality, lower prices.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Will4Food
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                              nativeNYer RE: Will4Food Jun 6, 2007 11:32 AM

                              i do agree that the chocolate is better. do you think it was "careless" or strategy? uggh! i sound paranoid but it's almost insulting that they'd do this and think their customers wouldn't realize it.

                              1. re: Will4Food
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                                Fabri RE: Will4Food Jun 14, 2007 01:05 PM

                                I agree with you, the service is still a little bit slow... but sincerely, I already went there 6 or 7 times and the pleasure of gelato makes me forget about who's staying behind the counter. Moreover, they have always been very nice and fiendly with me. About the gelato what can I say? I just don't understand how anyone can even think about finding something better in NY... I'm Italian and I can tell you that it is actually very hard to find something better in my homeland too. Grom received a number of awards as the best gelato in Italy in the past 2-3 years, so I think that gelato-lovers should feel pretty lucky to have one in town (at least I feel that way!!!). Talking about the price... I agree it is expensive, but I'm more than willng to pay for superior quality. At the end of the day I spend $4 every morning for a Starbucks cappuccino!!!

                              2. oolah RE: meancougar Jun 6, 2007 02:56 PM

                                Went here last night, around 11. I didn't even think it would be open that late, but I rarely find myself on the UWS, so I thought I'd give it a shot. Fortunately, it was open AND there was no line. I got served instantly. I also got a full serving -- no leveling.

                                I got the chocolate and the yogurt. While both flavors tasted very natural (i.e., it tasted like real dark chocolate was the primary ingredient in the chocolate, and like real yogurt was the primary ingredient in the yogurt, along with milk, sugar, and other pronouncable ingredients), I wasn't blown away. It tasted like it was missing a little something to bring out the flavors. It was good, not great, and not worth $5.14.

                                My verdict? Better than and store-bought pints, but not as good as Laboratorio or Cones. And not even close to the stuff I had in Rome or Florence.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: oolah
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                                  FattyDumplin RE: oolah Jun 6, 2007 08:11 PM

                                  really trying to like this place b/c i live so close by. but it's just not worth the premium or the hassle. having finally tried the gelatos at Otto, i much prefer those. too bad it's so far from home. i am getting gradually addicted to Zabar's frozen yogurt. that may have to suffice when i don't feel like traveling anywhere.

                                  1. re: FattyDumplin
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                                    nativeNYer RE: FattyDumplin Jun 6, 2007 09:38 PM

                                    yup, otto's olive oil gelato is to die for but i, too, live on the UWS.

                                  2. re: oolah
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                                    jsgjewels RE: oolah Jun 14, 2007 02:17 PM

                                    I completely agree with that assessment, and I can't quite understand why, despite the great natural ingredients, the flavor just has so little oomph?

                                    1. re: oolah
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                                      cupcakeparade RE: oolah Aug 1, 2007 08:23 PM

                                      i don't understand the line halfway down the block. i walked by twice, once at 7:30pm and on another day at 10pm and the line was that long. the second time i decided to cave in and give it a try. i was very disappointed. i got the luna rossa, which tasted like a pretty bland version of haagen dazs' raspberries and cream froyo, and the straciatella, which also tasted pretty bland. the texture was nice and smooth but the flavors were too subtle and unpronounced. i much prefer il lab or cones, as well. have yet to try capogiro since it's usually $10 for a small container at garden of eden or whole foods...

                                    2. d
                                      DaveA RE: meancougar Jul 9, 2007 06:42 PM

                                      Finally went up to the Grom last night, and was personally disappointed in just about everything except the hyped up feeling prior to entry.
                                      Like a piker I decided that their July Special flavor- Peaches and Ecudorian Chocolate, was such a strange idea that the only way it would be good is if it were great, and the only way it'd be great is if the Gromliness is next to Godliness hype were true.
                                      Bleh. Big mistake. Maybe my taste buds and senses were dulled by a day of grazing at the Fancy Food Show at the Javits, but the peach was insipid, with far to many ice crystals detracting from the peach flavor, and I don't know what I was thinking regarding chocolate chips- Ecudorian or not, cuz I despise chocolate chip icecream and the little delicious enough nuggets were completely alienated from the peach. A very strange mix.
                                      My Wifey, who has big taste buds, ordered Vanilla in her usual check the basics first manner, and she was not even UnImpressed.
                                      On top (or bottom) of all this, the serving cup has a very pronouced false bottom, and though they didn't smooth off the top, there certainly wasn't any generousity in the scooping.
                                      Personally I don't want to go back, and in the same way I can't step into Magnolias if there's a line, I DEFINITELY will resist my wifeys insistence that we give it one more fighting chance.
                                      Someone mentioned the servers being slow and glassy eyed? They haven't gotten any better.

                                      7 Replies
                                      1. re: DaveA
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                                        FattyDumplin RE: DaveA Jul 10, 2007 05:33 AM

                                        after a few return trips, the only thing i'll return for is the lemon granita. its very good. perfect consistency and lemon-yness, without being too sweet.

                                        1. re: DaveA
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                                          jsgjewels RE: DaveA Jul 10, 2007 01:07 PM

                                          I was passing by over the weekend and also thought i'd give it another go (my 3d). Went up to try the raspberry sorbet (which is a recent addition to the sorbet flavors) and it was neither aromatic nor super organic tasting, rather too sweet in my opinion (Sharon's sorbet which you can get at fairway is much much better).

                                          1. re: jsgjewels
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                                            nativeNYer RE: jsgjewels Jul 10, 2007 01:32 PM

                                            i appreciate the feedback. it is disappointing on several levels.

                                            1. re: nativeNYer
                                              Ora RE: nativeNYer Jul 10, 2007 07:25 PM

                                              Native--try l'Arte del gelato and report back

                                              1. re: Ora
                                                n
                                                nativeNYer RE: Ora Jul 10, 2007 09:14 PM

                                                will do. chelsea market, right? any flavor? better than il lab in your opinion?
                                                i'll post an l'Arte entitled message by this weekend. THANKS!

                                                1. re: nativeNYer
                                                  Ora RE: nativeNYer Jul 11, 2007 08:09 AM

                                                  Here's my previous post on it. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/418643
                                                  Curious to learn your thoughts :)

                                                  1. re: Ora
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                                                    nativeNYer RE: Ora Jul 11, 2007 10:14 AM

                                                    ok. got it. thanks! will let you know. keep an eye out for the l'Arte post.

                                        2. m
                                          MIKELOCK34 RE: meancougar Aug 9, 2007 08:43 PM

                                          Went to Grom last week. We tried four flavors. The texture of their gelato is terrible. It has a rubbery texture to it. The flavors were just okay. Tasted as though it was striaght from a paper carton. Yuck.

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