Monday, August 27, 2007

Found It! Real Italian Gelato

As yummy as it looks!

Dear Postcards from New York Reader,

There it was, the very place I was told to visit only the day before, a real Gelateria Espresso Bar like those found in Rome, Florence, Arezzo or any Italian city, complete with outdoor seating.

Invited by a friend to try "Ciao Bello’s Gelato" at Whole Foods Edgewater, NJ store, I sampled several favors as I fell into a conversation with a couple about why gelato in Italy always taste better than anything that can be found here. Everytime someone tells me they've found Italian gelato, I am always a little disappointed. Although Ciao Bello's texture and flavors were surprisingly good and the Sorbets, Mmm! The couple, however, insisted I try Sant Ambroeus on the Upper East-side.

Well, on a walk in the West Village, Sant Ambroeus found me, and I think the photo tells the story. Finally, this is the real McCoy. Made fresh everyday, presented in those familiar metal bins, soft, creamy rich velvety textured gelati in a rainbow of colors.

The pleasure of eating gelato begins with one's eyes; your taste buds get excited as you first imagine what the coral-colored raspberry will taste like.

What is the difference between this and ice cream? How can I describe it? Flavors hang on the rich cream of ice cream. Gelato is made with low fat milk and a lot less air so it's lighter in texture. The process creates far more intense flavors, like cold concentrated fruit exploding in your mouth.

I was in heaven as I slowly savored each spoonful of passion fruit, lampone (raspberry) and limone (lemon).

Confession; Years ago, I gave up eating ice cream, as I'm fortunate to get to Italy at least once a year. I would store up all my ice cream credits until I returned. Upon arrival, I could not make it out of Rome's airport before I had to have my first gelato fix. By the time the airport train reached center city, I was ready for another cup. Then, I had to have it at least twice a day, sometimes three times for the duration of my trip.

Now, my addiction may never end. All that crazy tension can be over; I can enjoy Italian gelato right here at home!

So take a walk in the West Village, find Sant Ambroeus at West 4th and Perry Street and discover your favorite gelato flavors.

Jacqueline Cable
For Postcards from New York

Addresses to remember: Sant Ambroeus, Espresso Bar, 259 West 4th Street, New York, NY, 212-604-9254.

1000 Madison Avenue and 77th Street, New York, NY, 212-570-2211.

Directions: From Times Square MTA 1 to Christopher Street, short walk to West 4th. Check the Street map before leaving the subway station.

Photo by Joseph Knight

©Copyright 2007 The Cable Group