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New Grand Avenue Gelato?

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Star Trib has a writeup of a new gelato place right by Macalester.

http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/...

First I've heard of it. Anyone been?

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  1. OMG.. I hadn't heard of this either, but I am SO there! Will probably check it out this weekend. Gelato is a huge weakness for me, but I've never found any here like I've had in Italy. Will be interesting to see how this is. I'll definitely report back.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Seige

      Just returned from Cow Bella. The place is bright and airy. Super friendly staff and they were making a batch of banana chocolate when I was there - which they were quick to offer samples of. Karykat is right about the generous samples! On to the flavors...

      I got a piccolo of 2 flavors - sea salt caramel and the lemon sorbetto. First, the sea salt caramel - the taste I had of it seemed good but when I had half a serving of it it wasn't very salty or caramelly. I know ice cream is different than gelato but they're no where near Izzy's salted caramel on this one.

      I love lemon sorbetto/gelato and that is always my test flavor to see if places get it right. They hit this one out of the park. It was spot on and as close to what I've had in Italy as I've ever experienced in the States. It was very tart, but complete perfection.

      My friend had pistachio and he really liked it. He loved the fresh ingredients and that it wasn't a fake green color.

      So overall, I'd say it's pretty good. Sounds like from our experience and karykat's that there are a few flavors that they could perfect on getting to be a bit more flavorful, but I definitely think they're on the right track. Great addition to the neighborhood!

      1. re: Seige

        I would like to echo much of your opinions. The Dark Chocolate had a true, distinct taste of deep cocoa about it...and the Pistachio was nothing short of a revelation. But I was also not thrilled with the Salted Caramel...to tell the truth, I almost thought they gave me the Banana by mistake! No way will that one pass muster with Izzy's not too far away! But it is a very nice shop and I think the prices are very reasonable for the high quality. I would give it a very solid recommendation. Probably a nice place to cleanse the palate after a garlicy meal at Shish!

    2. We just got back from there.

      Fantastic! They are generous in providing tastes. I tried a taste of the cucumber melon sorbet and it was fantastic. My SO had the pineapple basil which was very basil-y and a sweet corn which was not quite as flavorful but good. I had the salted caramel gelato and the oatmeal stout gelato. Both were very good. And knowing they were not as rich with milk not cream made me feel kind of virtuous.

      A little walk, a stop at this gelato place and then a little stop at Common Good Books not far away made for a very pleasant evening.

      1. Thanks for both reports! Looking forward to trying it now.

        1. I've been a few times now.

          First time I got the pineapple basil sorbetto. OMG so good. Refreshing and interesting. Just loved it.

          Second time I got combo pistachio and amarena. I loved the true pistachio flavor and the grit of the ground nuts (the grit did not go over so well with my husband). I loved the amarena even more . . . sour cherry in a vanilla base. YUM.

          They really are generous with the samples. Definitely worth a try!

          1 Reply
          1. re: diesel

            Tried the Habanero Mango Sorbetto - meh. Enjoyed the Gianduja. The flavor was almost as good as the fun I had mispronouncing it and being corrected by the earnest Gelato-slingers over and over. Not very often, but sometimes it's fun getting old.

            They get the texture and flavor intensity right. So many places that try to do Gelato keep it too cold and it gets hard.

          2. I was there for the first time a couple of weeks ago. Got a three-scooper in a cup. I thought the gelato was pretty good. But the atmosphere/decor sure doesn't invite sitting around and lingering over gelato, or even coffe -- of which they offer many drinks.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Brad Ballinger

              Brad, could you elaborate on the atmosphere/decor? If I go out for gelato this time of year I'm not going to want it to go. If there are no tables, I'll stay away for now.

              1. re: ChillyDog

                There are 3 or 4 tables and a counter with stools. Probably seats approx. 18 if I'm remembering right.

                Atmosphere is OK - probably better for summer. It's just a little cold-feeling for winter. White, hard surfaces everywhere.

                1. re: ChillyDog

                  As diesel mentions... Cold-feeling. I would also add stark. Very brightly-lit tables crowded together. There is a shelf along the back wall with stools, but the shelf is very narrow. They have cribbage boards and decks of cards, but I really don't see anyone hanging out playing cribbage.

                  Thing is there is plenty of space to put in more and better seating.

              2. Yum. This gelato is amazing.

                1. I went again this week.

                  When I was there last, they had a batch of chocolate coming out of the machine and it was just the right texture...smooth, creamy, silky...beautiful.

                  The flavors on offer are nice. That said, they are freezing it in the serving table to a temperature that's too low, so the gelato gets hard like ice cream.

                  1. Cow Bella was sold to new owners some time ago. We don't go there often, and when we went there over winter, the changes were apparent.

                    Gone were the funky door-tables, replaced with booths.

                    The signage was improved.

                    The flavor choices were, in our eyes, dumbed down; their wonderful dark chocolate was replaced by milk chocolate on their daily menu.

                    We thought we detected just a bit less..."special-ness" in the gelato. Could be our imagination.

                    Nonetheless, it just isn't the special place that it used to be for us, overall.