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Berthillion: 1--according to a post overrated

kel Apr 11, 2009 06:21 PM

1--Are some or a certain Berthillion locations better than the 10 around Paris?
2--What are the better than Berthilloion places for A-sorbet, B-gelato or C-icecream?

  1. t
    TeamPhilly Apr 23, 2009 01:22 AM

    We have just stayed a week on the Rue Saint Louis en l'Ile and I can tell you that much more than half of the pedestrian traffic consists of people eating Berthillion ice cream cones. Ironically Berthillion is closed this week (what else is new) so they are buying from the plethora of shops that spring up like mushrooms after a storm. It is sort of funny to watch them taking pictures outside of these ersatz Berthillions. We fell for that about 20 years ago also. With the signage you think you are at the authentic place. That said, the ice cream is okay, nothing earth shattering.

    1. j
      jock Apr 12, 2009 05:28 AM

      I made the post and in 20 years I have never thought Berthillon was better than mediocre at best. Expensive mediocre to say the least. Also, the quality has declined in recent years.

      I agree that Christian Constant is wonderful. It would have been my favorite until last night. Last night at Juveniles wine bar I had, perhaps, the best ice cream I have ever had anywhere. Tim Johnston told me the supplier was - ALPEREL. Not sure where else to get it but it is fantistic. Had the Burre Sale and Gingerbread. Tim said that their other flavors are all equally fine.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jock
        Joe H Apr 19, 2009 07:10 PM

        Berthillon depends on the flavor: prune and armagnac is their signature and it is excellent with large, macerated chunks of prunes and a fairly strong armagnac flavor. Caramel was weak as was coconut both of which are "standards" of mine to judge ice cream. Is this the best "store bought" ice cream in the world? No, I don't think so for any of the flavors. But the best are really quite good. I believe what is important about eating at the original Berthillon is the experience for a tourist . There are few places left, especially in the U. S. that have this kind of ambience.

      2. souphie Apr 12, 2009 02:50 AM

        I basically agree with f2dat06 -- the Emperor is still good-looking, but I haven't known a time when they were the best. They are, however, fairly reliable, worth a visit, and have a vast choice of flavours all year long.

        Locations in the Ile Saint-Louis are generally better because they are better-controlled and more frequently served by HQ.

        1 Reply
        1. re: souphie
          RandyB Apr 12, 2009 05:25 PM

          Without getting into the B-or-not-to-B debate, I'd suggest you go directly to Berthillon itself to try it, rather than any outlet. You will get it at its best, no ice crystals, etc.

          And do try the raspberry sorbet if you are a raspberry fan.

        2. f
          f2dat06 Apr 11, 2009 08:23 PM

          sorbet and ice cream both are better at chocolatier Christian Constant 37 Rue d'Assas, also at the many LeNotre stores you will find better.

          In the warm months La Maison du Chocolat will often serve ice cream, way better then Berthillion.

          JP Hevin has an outstanding chocolate sorbet - far better than Berthillion.

          I am one that agrees Berthillion is over rated, the emperor has no clothes.

          3 Replies
          1. re: f2dat06
            fanoffrance Apr 12, 2009 04:52 AM

            I haven't tried ice cream or sorbet from the chocolatiers you mention, but I did have a Berthillon ice cream cone last Monday, and I don't think I've ever tasted better ice cream! The flavor was Gianduja with orange bits, and the location was on the Île Saint-Louis just by the bridge that goes to Notre Dame. I had to wait in line about 15 minutes, but it was worth it!

            1. re: fanoffrance
              TeamPhilly Apr 16, 2009 01:32 PM

              FYI-The Berthillon just by the bridge is not Berthillon but someone who sells their ice cream. You pass at least a half dozen places selling Berthillon ice cream before you get to the actual place. We fell for this too on our first trip to Paris years ago. Right now we are staying a half block from Berthillon but it is closed until April 24th. It seems like every time we come here it is closed. They are doing okay anyway with everyone else buying their ice cream from them to sell.

              1. re: TeamPhilly
                souphie Apr 17, 2009 06:45 AM

                Successful people in France take school holidays, which means two weeks every six weeks plus two months in the summer. That applies to Berthillon, and to l'Ambroisie as well.

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