Restaurant: L’Arte Del Gelato
Last visited: September 9, 2011
Location: Manhattan, NY (WestVillage)
Address: 75 7th Ave
Transit: Christopher St – Sheridan Sq
Price Range: $10 or less
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: FMF Must Try!
Service: 1.5 (not friendly)
- Independently owned
- 3 locations in Manhattan
- Specializes in gelato
- Artisan gelato/flavours
- All natural
- Dessert only
- Local favourite
- Locally sourced fruits
- Very casual
- Family friendly
- Limited seating
- To go dessert
- West Village hours:
- Sunday – Thursday 11am – 12pm
- Friday – Saturday 11am – 1am
So what do I got here? Big Gay Ice Cream Shop? Check. Artisan Ice Cream? Check. The gelato laboratory? Check. Froyo? Check x3. Frozen custard? Check. The Mecca for Parisian Macarons? Check. Vanilla bean soft serve ice cream on a cookie eclair cone? Check. The Best Chocolate Cake in the World? Check. An entire store dedicated to gourmet rice pudding? Check. Momofuku Milk Bar? Check. Mario Batali Gelato? Check. The dessert platter from celebrity chef Johnny Luzzini from Food Network’s Top Chef Just Desserts? Check. What the heck is left? Actually a lot!
It was just under 2 weeks in Follow Me Foodie to New York and I was slaughtering the dessert scene, let alone the food scene. I haven’t even included the desserts from sit down restaurants in that list, but I have to pat myself on the back and say I didn’t do too bad. On the other hand, I’ve really only scratched the sweet surface of what New York has to offer in desserts and pastries.
To be honest half of that list wasn’t on the itinerary or even intentional, but it just happened and I wasn’t even looking for most of them. L’Arte Del Gelato falls in that category. It was another recommendation from the head chef at Jean-Georges who happens to have a major sweet tooth. He had given me recommendations to Dessert Club, ChikaLicious, Peasant and Blue Hill and so far he was “on the money” for lack of a better quote. L’Arte Del Gelato was one of his last recommendations and I just happened to wander by, so why not complete the list?
When I say “just happened to wander by” it was more like I knew where I was going, but I honestly believed I wasn’t going to order anything. I just wanted to see it even though I had just come from brunch at Egg and a Polish Bakery in Brooklyn. I just wanted to see it. However gelato, ice cream, frozen yogurt and anything in that frozen treats category is my favourite category of desserts so I’m always up for some. It’s my mint. I swear to the dessert gods that I had a minimum of 4 scoops to a maximum of 8 scoops of gelato for 8 days in a row in Italy. When I say “I’m always up for some”, I’m not kidding.
L’Arte Del Gelato is one of the most beloved places for artisan gelato in New York. The owners did the whole “quit your job to follow your passion” thing and studied the art of gelato in Italy before opening their first store. Since then they’ve expanded to 3 stores, and 3 stores in Manhattan is a big deal. Rent is expensive and if you’re not good, you’re out quickly.
I actually wasn’t too interested in finding the “best gelato in New York” because I think Bella Gelateria in Vancouver and Dolce Gelato in White Rock do a stellar job. If you’re from Vancouver and those satisfy you, then there is no real point on doing any further “research” in New York. We have it good. Very good. It’s not to say it’s not good in New York because it was very good here, but I still prefer the ones at home.
From the gelato specific places I tried in New York I liked Eataly best, followed by this and then Il Laboratorio Del Gelato, which I actually wasn’t too keen on at all. The gelato at L’Arte Del Gelato is excellent quality, freshly made, and creamy with artisan flavours, so the stuff is more or less authentic and legit. If I was a local, I’d be here more often and I would recommend it.
My “ohhh” is now an ohhhhhh! It’s a gelato sandwich in a brioche! The concept is fun and it reminded me of the ice cream bread sandwiches in Singapore – see my post on the Singaporean Ice Cream Sandwich. That’s actually my quick dessert at home. My dad used to make it for me and I think of it as his “invention” – ice cream on toast. A simple recipe that meets any midnight dessert craving, or just any time dessert craving. Try it!
On the table:
- 2 flavours $4.50
- Surprised that I didn’t order the brioche ice cream sandwich?
- I just thought I could do the same thing with a croissant, brioche or donut in Vancouver so unless the brioche is amazing here, then I don’t think I really missed out. Then again, it could have been… next time.
- It was creamy smooth gelato and it was fresh.
- It was not a scoop, which it should never be.
- Pistachio is probably my favourite flavour and it wasn’t as rich in pistachio flavour as it could have been.
- There were no crunchy pistachio nuts or pieces it in, but it was still very good.
- It was actually a touch salty and it was made with pistachio paste and not pistachio extract.
- Personally I prefer the pistachio gelato at Bella Gelateria in Vancouver or the one at Mario Batali’s Eataly Gelateria in Manhattan.
- The Bartlett Pear Gelato was better than the pistachio and neither were too sweet or bland.
- I could taste the grainy texture of the pear pulp and it was real fruit with a fresh flavour and natural sweetness.
- There were little bits of pear skins and it was thick and creamy.
- Again it’s comparable, or a notch under Bella Gelateria, so if you’re satisfied with that, then you’re not really missing out.
- If you’re a local in Manhattan or a tourist looking for gelato in Manhattan, then yes I would recommend this or Eataly Gelateria.