Review: Arlecchino Gelateria (Phoenix, AZ)
As many of you know, Michele Laudig of the Phoenix New Times wrote an excellent article this week on Arlecchino Gelateria; it’s a must read. After reading the article myself, I immediately planned a visit to Arlecchino with my wife.
The shop is very quaint, with only a few stools to sit on and room for maybe ten people inside. The gelato immediately struck me as having a natural appearance. Other gelaterias that I’ve been to locally have really intense colors that look artificial. I ordered one of Arlecchino’s special creations, the Coppa Tre Cime ($9, above), which is chocolate, coffee, and pistachio gelato topped with roasted pine nuts, espresso, and shaved chocolate. It was purely a work of art in preparation and presentation. The chocolate and coffee gelatos had bold, exquisite flavors. The pistachio was more mild, but delicious nonetheless. The shaved chocolate, pine nuts, and espresso were all excellent quality. What a wonderful creation it was. The owner, Moreno, explained to me how he had used three different types of pistachios from Sicily, which he claims are the best that can be found. The chocolate is an elaborate mix of numerous types of premium dark chocolates, which is prepared daily by Moreno himself, as is every last bit of gelato at Arlecchino. In fact, his wife, Marina mentioned that her husband had not had a day off since they opened their shop nearly two years ago. Only he knows these precious recipes!
My wife got the Coppa Arlecchino ($7, above), which is three fruit flavors with Amarini Fabri, a wild cherry sauce. She chose Valentino, Mystico, and Cortina. The Valentino was a new creation of Moreno’s. It was pomegranate along with a couple other rare berries. It had an intense, tart flavor, but was well balanced with the sweetness. The wild cherry topping was extremely good. I didn’t get to try the other two flavors.
I’m no gelato aficionado, but I have visited various parts of Italy and tried some famous gelaterias there. I don’t know enough about gelato to say if Arlecchino’s is world-class or not, but it was easily the best gelato I’ve ever tasted. We’re very fortunate to have such a passionate chef preparing gelato for us here in the valley. Even though it’s a 30 minute drive, I will be returning regularly.
Note: The parking is a bit of a situation in this area. More than likely you’ll have to park on a side street and walk a little ways.
4410 N. 40th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85018
phone: (602) 955-2448
hours: M-Thu 3-10, F-Sat 11:30 -10:30, Sun 11:30-10
View photos and read more Phoenix restaurant reviews at: www.chowdownphoenix.com
The influx of people since that article is nothing short of amazing. I was driving by there on my way home yesterday and there was a line out the door and along the sidewalk toward the paper store.
It really is great gelato, but now that the secret is out and summer is coming, I may have to abandon hope of every seeing a parking space there again.
re: Seth Chadwick
There weren't many people there when we went yesterday. Perhaps the best time to go is while everyone is eating lunch? We were there at about 12:30.
I'm happy that the secret is out. The Spangaro's are wonderful people, and they deserve to be well rewarded for their efforts. I hope their business becomes a raging success.
We stopped in on our way back from The Farmhouse for breakfast. I got the Vesuvio (chocolate gelato, hazelnut, Grand Marnier, and maybe one other ingredient). It was really good. My g/f didn't like the Grand Marnier taste, but I didn't mind. It reminded me of the chocolate Grand Marnier balls I make at Christmas. My g/f got the plain chocolato and really enjoyed it.
We tried Gelato 64 this week and didn't care for it. Definitely not on par wtih Angel Sweet or Archellino. We live down here in Chandler and as such frequent Angel Sweet much more than Archellino(our LGO trips tend to be for breakfast so when we do get up there gelato isn't open yet! :-( ) But like I said for Pomengranate I may have to make the trip...we're heading up to scottsdale today so maybe I"ll convince the husband to take a gelato detour to try this...
The thing that sets Arlecchino apart from the rest is the real flavors that come across when eating their gelato. When I eat the Pistachio gelato, it is like I am eating a handful of cold, salted pistachios. When I have the Watermelon, it is like being at a summertime watermelon bust.
I like the gelato at Gelato Spot and at a few other places I have had it in the Valley. But Arlecchino's flavor is light years ahead of everyone else.