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Grom Gelato? As good as advertised?

A few months back, I had read an article in the NY Times about a high-quality gelato shop opening on the UWS called Grom. I recently heard somebody on the D train talking about how good it is, wanted to know if any chowhounds had opinions on this place...

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  1. You should do a search as there have been a few threads on this. In short, no. I gave it 2 shots and wasn't impressed. I prefer L'Arte del Gelato, Otto, and Il Lab

    1 Reply
    1. re: Lucia

      I'm a L'Arte fan big time. Better value, less drama and better flavors than Grom.

    2. I had it in Turin and Bergamo when I visited Italy a few weeks ago and it was wonderful. The torroncillo was my favorite, but I loved almost every flavor they had. It was definitely the best gelato we had in Italy (and our research was exhaustive).

      1. Haven't been able to bring myself to wait in that line yet. Tried twice (I'm not very good at queuing) and both times Emack and Bolio's (sp?) got my business instead. They must be giving free prizes to people who stick it out.

        1. Er... I'm a little embarrassed to be part of the dirty, unwashed masses on this... but yeah, it is that good. Maybe it's because by the time you get through the line, you're so hungry anything tastes great. But yes, I do think it's pretty darn delicious--especially if someone else is paying.

          1. I tried this weekend-NOT something i would stand in line for-and the price!!! oy!!! felt like a mortgage payment.

            1 Reply
            1. re: UES Mayor

              My experience with Grom is that it is really that good. The line moves quickly and it gives you time to think about flavors. It tastes the same as it does in Italy, which is saying a lot. Gelato is lower in fat than Haagen Daaz and the like -- so it may taste different to people who expect the H-D high fat consistency. Il Lab is great, but the flavors can be, well, wierd. I never really liked Otto's food, so I never get to eat the ice cream. For now, Grom is it.

            2. We voiced our opinion on the other threads too. Tastes like something straight from a cardboard carton from the grocery store. Da Enzo Ristorante was our favorite till they had lease trouble and closed.

              1. I didn't think so at all - A lot of hype - ridiculously expensive - and certainly nothing like the gelato I remember from Italy -

                3 Replies
                1. re: dloech

                  i'll just agree with dloech, word for word. i had the pleasure of tasting gelato in sorrento several years back. yes, we know nothing here will ever taste like what's sold in italy, but this is way off the mark regarding taste and a variety of other reasons. here's a previous post where i said more than my share: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/397964

                    1. re: glutton

                      It was fairly pricey. The smallest which is about the diameter of a dixie cup was $4 and change. It is good, but not good enough to offset the line and the price. But then again, I have never had gelato in Italy.

                  1. In my experience, the answer to "Is it worth it?" depends on the flavor you chose. So far (I haven't tried them all) it goes:

                    coconut: no
                    chocolate: yes, divine
                    lemon: yes yes yes

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: crinkle11

                      I live a few blocks from Grom and since Labor day the lines have diminished significantly. Other than at super peek times the line has been less than 5 minutes. The last couple of times I have been able to taste several flavors without annoying anybody...

                      Grom is about 20% more expensive than the neighborhood places (emack & bolio and Haagen Daz) and about a 1000 times better. So worth it in my opinion.

                    2. It is NOT as good as advertised. First of all, the $5 small cups, are very small. Secondly, I don't know where they found the folks who actually work there but they are the most inefficient ice cream scoopers ever. The silly long line can go much faster if they picked up their act. I'd say go to Emack but it's a company run by red sox fans. In the end, don't get ice cream on the UWS.

                      1. I thought the ingredients were great but the yumminess was somehow absent. Il lab and Otto kick its butt.

                        Don't get me wrong, it was good though.

                        1. FYI for all, I believe the Bowery Whole Foods is now serving Il Lab gelato at their gelato bar.

                          8 Replies
                          1. re: foodieforthought

                            Yes, and it's great! They often have a larger selection than the actual Il Lab location.

                            1. re: foodieforthought

                              Whoa! Did you say "gelato bar"? Are there other kinds of gelato besides Il Lab offered? And what are the hours on this place? I love Il Lab but hate that it closes so early in the day.

                              To the OP, I posted a similar sentiment before in another Grom thread: no, it's not worth it. I've had Italian gelato in Italy many many times, and this stuff doesn't approach it. Then again, nothing in NY does, but Il Lab is your tastiest local option by far.

                              1. re: oolah

                                It's basically a gelato counter with Il Laboratorio gelato available. They don't have other ice cream/gelato available. It's right next to the chocolates counter, by the coffee. But it does stay open later than Il Lab.

                                Whole Foods Bowery is open until 11pm every day.

                                1. re: oolah

                                  But isn't Grom gelato made in Turin using ingredients from their farm in Piedmont and then shipped to NYC? If that is indeed the case (and it sounds like a very expensive business model, hence the high prices), then it would be safe to say that this is Italian gelato, not some NYC rip-off.

                                  1. re: glutton

                                    That's what they claim, but the flavor is definitely not there. I don't know why, but one guess is that freshness is key and flying it across the ocean doesn't do it any good. Another guess is that they're using *mostly* Italian ingredients but American milk or some other key ingredient. But those are just guesses. All I know is that it's just not as good as the stuff in Italy.

                                    That's not to say it's bad. It's tasty stuff and if I were on the UWS it would be my destination of choice. But I won't go out of my way for it and I think it's definitely too expensive. I will go out of my way for Il Lab.

                                    1. re: oolah

                                      i agree with you, oolah. i can't help but ask, though, if anyone on this board has ever tasted grom in italy. so, the question is, is grom better in italy? i don't know the name of the shop in which i tasted gelato in sorrento but i nearly cried when i tasted this.

                                      1. re: nativeNYer

                                        I've had Grom gelato in Italy (Genoa), but honestly, it was too long ago to do a real comparison to Grom.

                                        Oolah's totally right about gelato and freshness. It's not that the ingredients go bad, but you need to eat it soon after it's churned for the texture to be really good. Good places churn daily.

                                        1. re: cimui

                                          good point. now that you've brought up texture, i remember that the gelato i tasted in sorrento had a completely different texture. it was almost soft and smooth without being mushy or on the brink of melting.

                              2. It's very pricey, the line's usually long, but IMHO it's the best gelato I've tasted in NY. The flavors are intense and very fresh (I tried cappuccino, hazelnut (best), yogurt, nougat) - satusfying experience

                                1. I've said this on other threads: the most authentic, most like Italy gelato I've had in NY, at least recently, is from the cart at Osteria del Circo. I think it's better than Grom, and a small cup (1 or 2 flavors) is $3 rather than Grom's $5. No wait, either. I seem to be the only one who talks about it, so it doesn't seem to be on the CH radar. It may, however, be post-season for the cart--they only do it in the summer.

                                  Grom is good, but IMO neither worth the price nor the wait.


                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: Peter Cherches

                                    agreed about the gelato at Circo, I mentioned it here as well....

                                    Perhaps the reason nobody bothers with Circo is because the rest of the restaurant is so bad it overshadows everything else....

                                    1. re: Cpalms

                                      I've never eaten at the restaurant, and to sit down and order a gelato would cost you $8.50. But the cart is great-- $3-4-5

                                      In your 2004 post you give a slight edge to Otto. I think Circo is better. Anyway, it's a great midtown choice on a summer day or evening.

                                      1. re: Peter Cherches

                                        yeah, I think otto and circo's gelato are about a dead heat now, back then I was enraptured by otto's olive oil, corn, ricotta, etc gringoized flavors....the thrill has worn off...

                                        nothing in this town holds a candle to Giulitti though....

                                        1. re: Cpalms

                                          ok. i am running to the circo cart this week . thanks! i would have never found this place. otto's gelato kills me.

                                          1. re: nativeNYer

                                            call to see if they still have it....I think it is a summer only thing but given this weather who knows.....

                                  2. I used to get gelato from Grom in Turin all the time. It was definitely one of the best places in town, and occasionally their monthly specials really truly were out of this world, but I have to admit that I really only went there because you could order a "biscotto" cone (sugar cone), rather than a regular cone! Grom was (in 2006) the most expensive gelateria in Turin, so I'm not surprised to hear that they're dishing out small $5 cones in the US.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Jetgirly

                                      I was in Milan and Turin for some weeks and Grom is really the best gelato there. There are lines always, much longer than in NY. It's impressive how many Italians prefer Grom gelato. My favourite flavour is Cremadi Grom.

                                    2. I lived and cooked in Italy for 3 months....I think it is that good. I live in NC and fondly remember my last trip to NYC....wait in line already! Also, Neuhaus Chocolatier is nearby the midtown location...Yum again!

                                      1. the stores look good... and the individually covered gelato case reminds me of the better places in Italy and looks cool.

                                        anybody know the brand/manufacturer of the case?