Mi piace molto. I love gelato. It’s better than ice cream. Yeah, I said it. Better. Than. Ice. Cream. Better flavor, better texture, and it’s even healthier because it’s made with more milk than cream and thus, less fat. The best gelato in the world is made at Vivoli in Florence, Italy. I base this fact solely on my extensive research while studying abroad in Florence during my junior year. I practically ate my way through Italy and I can say with certainty that Vivoli was the best. Prove me wrong – it can’t be done.
Sadly, a plane ride over the pond is a little out of my budget these days so when I get a craving for good gelato I head to il laboratorio del gelato on Houston (or their tiny store front on Orchard, which is re-opening tomorrow). They have a large rotating selection of flavors and the quality of their gelato is up there with Grom and L’arte del Gelato.
On a hot and sweaty Sunday, after a heavy brunch that only made me hotter and sweatier, il mio ragazzo, his roomie, and myself decided the best way to cool off was to snag ourselves some sweet gelato. I opted for the blackberry gelato and the fresh mint gelato. Sure, maybe in your mind blackberry and mint don’t go well together but just look at how pretty those colors are!
The blackberry was underwhelming to say the least, which was a real disappointment because I love blackberries. It didn’t taste like anything, much less fruit.The fresh mint, however, was amazing. It tasted like freshly picked mint from the garden, not that fake mint flavor parading as the real thing. I loved it and it was perfectly refreshing on such a hot, humid day. My boyfriend got Guinness and maple walnut, both of which were delicious, though the maple walnut was a tid bit too sweet. His roommate, Bill, got the espresso and mascarpone. I only tried the espresso but man was it strong. Pretty sure there was enough real espresso in there to wake up the entire city of Manhattan. Needless to say, I loved it.
On previous trips I’ve tried the dark chocolate, the milk chocolate, and the salted caramel. Do yourself a favor and try all 3 but especially the salted caramel. It is heavenly.