My search for the best ice cream in New York continues….
SADLY, LOVE GELATO IS NOW CLOSED.
Summer is finally approaching again and with it more ice cream and gelato shops try their luck at winning the palettes of New Yorkers. And the war for best gelato in the West Village continues as Love Gelato opens up a nice sized shop on 7th Avenue, close to L’Arte del Gelato and Grom. What separates them is they make all their gelato in New York and they add a little, you know, love.
When I stopped by one Friday night, I was surprised at how big and sterile the room felt. I think I would have guessed this place was new, even if I didn’t know they opened only two weeks earlier. I took a look at the menu and the freezer of flavors. Nothing out of the ordinary here: coffee, nutella, stracciatella, hazelnut, etc. They must have had a busy night because a few of the pints were empty. No complaints here since they were closing up soon. This was a late night after dinner gelato run. It was pushing midnight, so I was grateful they were opened at all.
There was a young girl and guy manning the counter and an older Italian man walking back and forth. He made me a little nervous, but he smiled and I proceeded to ask for my gelato. I always ask for two different flavors in one order to get the maximum experience, but she told me they only allow two flavors in a medium. A small could only be comprised of a single flavor.
It always bothers me that they can’t put two flavors in a small. Mostly it’s to encourage people to order a bigger size. Well, considering the medium was a ludicrous $6.75, they weren’t getting me to upgrade. Before I even had a chance to think about complaining, the employee said she’d make an exception since they were closing. I was grateful, but worried the older man would give her a problem later on.
We sampled the Marscapone, which was nice and tart. But we settled on both the tiramisu and the nocello (hazelnut) in a cup. The tiramisu was very sweet right off the bat. I tasted the marsala flavor of the wine, yet no actual booze. There were slight hints of coffee and cream, but I wish it had been more complex and less cloyingly sweet. The Hazelnut was much better with a rich, nutty flavor. Yet after a little while, the flavor dissipated and it tasted like cold, sweet cream.
The texture on the other hand was very nice. It was soft and creamy, just the way all the good gelato in this neighborhood is. So based on this experience, I’m not sure Love Gelato offers anything that the other places don’t. They claim they’re more local and seasonal, but nothing in the shop felt terribly unique – other than more seating options and late night hours. Which in times of gelato emergency, might make all the difference.
Is Love Gelato the best ice cream in NY? It’s tough to distinguish them from the rest of the gelato competition in the West Village and while they have good texture and it’s made locally, the flavors just didn’t do anything special for me. 7 out of 10.
|167 Seventh Avenue South (between Charles Street and Waverly Place)