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May 1, 2008 12:03 PM

Best Gelato

Hey 'hounders,

Since the weather's getting warmer, I'm craving for some dense, creamy gelato. I would like to know who has the best gelato in Manhattan?

I've been to L'Arte del Gelato recently and it's still as good as I've remembered. I want to revisit Otto for their awesome olive oil coppetta (and want to try their rhubarb, too - sounds interesting). Has anyone been to Grom recently? I haven't been there for nearly a year. I've been to Cones but I don't feel swooned by it.

As for other suggestions or thoughts about what I've mentioned, it will help.

Thanks in advance,


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  1. I'm assuming you've been to Laboratorio? I went to Grom's for the first time a couple of months ago and thought it was wonderful, but I think I don't eat enough gelato to do fair comparisons! That Otto olive oil one does stand out in my mind, and I'm glad you mentioned rhubarb - would love to try that.

    1. Otto is still my favorite. I recently went to the Bleecker Grom and thought it was great: Il Lab is great too. I like Cones, but it's a different type of "gelato." My favorite flavor is the zabaglione.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Lucia

        Is it just me or is Cones sweeter than other gelato?

        1. re: cimui

          Sweeter than Grom for sure, I'm not sure than L'Arte or Otto. I'm not particularly sensitive to too much sugar.

          1. re: Lucia

            I do quite like my sugar, don't get me wrong -- but for some reason in cold foods like gelato, high sugar content masks other flavors for me. At least that's why I think I've never liked Cones as much as the other places you mention. Grom on the other hand... I could die happy after being dropped into a giant vat of their gelato, being forced to eat my way out -- and expiring as I eat the very last bite... (But only after I'd swallowed it, of course.)

        2. il laboratorio del gelato on the lower est side. the thai chili chocolate is amazing.

          1. Probably I should have listed where i've been to:

            Grom (a year ago; from the first time: very good when it opened; then they tanked when they became stingy with the portions, and the last time I went there, I thought it was good, not great)
            Il Laboratorio del Gelato (good but not great)
            Cones (not too thrilled with it)
            Otto (in my mind, the best so far)
            L'Arte del Gelato (it's not sublime but in my opinion, better than il lab's because of the portions and the way they scoop the gelato)

            Has anyone tried Gottino's gelato? I read it from NY Magazine and Time Out NY that it's pretty good. I know it's a wine bar but I'm willing to go to restaurants for divine gelato.

            14 Replies
            1. re: chocokitty

              I often wonder whether scarcity has anything to do with how much I enjoy Grom. Those portions *are* small. For the record, the one in the west village doesn't do the levelling off thing and I think the one on the UWS stopped doing it, too, after being called out on Chowhound, Eater, and some other boards.

              1. re: chocokitty

                Gottino's is from Capogiro in PA, which I've never had but heard good things about. I had a scoop once at the end of the meal. I recall it being very good, but not divine, and not worth going out of your way for. It might have to do with having to store and ship the gelato to NY.
                By the way, portions at Grom weren't stingy at the Bleecker location--none of the levelling that was happening at first on the UWS. The slow service hasn't changed at all, though.

                1. re: Lucia

                  So this begs the question, where else can I find gelato?

                  Unless I have to trek out to Brooklyn...

                  1. re: chocokitty

                    Here again is another great thing about NYC. Unlike far too many other cities, we've a fair number of decent choices to compare.

                    L'Arte del Gelato is my favorite on your list (but haven't had Otto's).
                    I like Capogiro's when I'm in Philly, but haven't had any of theirs here. Not sure how well it travels.

                    You didn't mention Ciao Bello (I know I invite the slings & arrows of some hounds by including them, but I really like some of their flavors, albeit their sorbettos are usually superior to their gelato).

                    Anyone know what became of that little gelato counter that was in the front of a small Italian restaurant on 4th ave just a few blocks north of the Astor St subway stop? The restaurant closed maybe 4 yrs ago if I remember right. I think Ed Levine raved about their gelato years ago. I had to agree - they had some out-of-this-world stuff there.

                    1. re: racer x

                      I don't like Ciao Bello's gelato. The only time I ever want to get their stuff is when I'm dying for one in the middle of Grand Central Station...and that's a rare occurrence.

                      1. re: chocokitty

                        I agree with racer X that while Ciao Bello's gelato isn't that great, their sorbets are very good.. Very true to the real taste of the fruits, and sometimes with a twist of alcohol.

                        1. re: kobetobiko

                          I second your assessment on Ciao Bella. I'm not sure why L'Arte is so popular. It seems plasticky to me. My favorite is Grom with Il Lab coming in a close second.

                      2. re: racer x

                        The much-missed (at least by me!) little bar attached to Siracusa/Bussola on 4th Avenue. Loved that place--they had great espresso, too, and they used to make this excellent savory vegetable pie. The restaurant is Ippudo now.

                        1. re: scrittrice

                          Ah, yes! Thanks for the reminder - Bussola. With google's help, I see that Gino Cammarata was the gelato master there and that, according to ed levine's blog, Cammarata is back in business now making gelato in Brooklyn.

                          Also, from some old reports (Gael Greene at NY Magazine and Ed Levine at the slice blog) it looks like several Manhattan restaurants have carried Cammarata's gelato in the past (most recently Celeste, but also Il Cantinori, Bellini, Da Umberto, and Sistina). Not sure whether any of these places still do, however.

                        2. re: racer x

                          Just wanted to mention that you can get some of Capogiro's gelatos at Whole Foods. At $10/pint, it's more expensive at other offerings, but should be comparable to getting gelato at a store.

                          btw, chocokitty, I've seen your blog before (not from this site), and I have to say your pics are divine!

                          1. re: Miss Needle

                            I don't think it's 100% comparable to getting gelato at a storefront/factory because if the gelato melts a little and refreezes, the consistency is greatly affected, as gelato is supposed to be made and kept in a forced air type freezer. And isn't the best gelato is made fresh daily anyway? A friend who's tried Capogiro on site AND from a grocery store says the two don't really compare. Alas.

                            1. re: kathryn

                              When I said it was comparable, I was talking in terms of price, not quality. People tend to balk at spending $10 for a pint at a market but generally won't think twice paying $15 for the same amount of gelato at a store. I totally agree with you that there's a difference getting it at a store and getting it at the market.

                              1. re: Miss Needle

                                Ah, understood! And I agree with you about the price factor!

                            2. re: Miss Needle

                              Thanks for the compliment Miss Needle! It's a weird obsession I have. Haha...

                    2. I've never been, but there was an article in the Times (I think) not too long ago about the gelato (supposedly amazing) at Da Enzo (9th at 37th). Don't know anything else about the place or their food menu, though.

                      ETA: Whoops - it was actually NY Magazine, and apparently it's now closed...can anyone confirm?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: biondanonima

                        Yes, Da Enzo has closed!!! They were also theSiracusa/ Bussola family. Keeping an eye out for a new opening from them. Will post as soon as I see something.....hopefully very soon. The very best gelato ever!!