Sunday, August 1, 2010

Professional Foray #5, Grom, Bleecker Street, NY

A confession is in order.  This is, and has been, my favorite ice cream (or gelato) in New York since winter.  So this is less of an evaluation than a sticky, approving wink at what I think is so far the top ice cream in town.  I have friends who have come back from trips to Italy raving about this place. 

My first scoops, in winter, were of chocolate and chestnut, a winning combination if there ever was one.  Later on, I came back for spring flavors: ginger, crema di Grom (crema, an eggy custard flavor, with chocolate flakes and crumbled vanilla biscuits), lemon cake, and the flavor of the month, fior di latte with candied cherries and chocolate flakes.  This terribly sophisticated take on Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia did not quite do it for me (I prefer a base with more flavor than just milk), but the crema di Grom was outstanding - lush and full of tasty chunks.  What sets Grom apart is the quality of its ingredients, which manifest themselves in an unbeatable texture.  Furthermore, texture aside, the flavors are also excellent: the chocolate is complex and rich (I always have the regular dark chocolate as the extra-dark chocolate is overwhelming for me), the coffee intense and smooth, the chestnut gentle and well-rounded.

One for each hand.
Anyhow, I returned Friday evening with several friends in a professional capacity (my previous half-dozen visits were sort of an internship, maybe?)  Like the greedy children in Umberto Eco's story, my friend Mara and I decided to get two small cups, so we could try four flavors.  One of our cups was vanilla and chocolate, the other tiramisu and crema di Grom.  The scooper, a very sweet Italian youth who I am guessing is the nephew of a friend of the owner of the franchise and who needed a summer job in New York while he takes the odd English class (his English was halting, to be generous), graciously let us try as many flavors as we wanted as long as we kept smiling at him.  All four flavors were truly, truly excellent - the vanilla/chocolate cup was like the ultimate version of a Mr. Softee swirl, and the tiramisu and the crema di Grom had similar mix-ins, so texturally they were a brilliant complement.

These flavors, and several crazy, crazy Youtube videos, were then savored on a stoop on Leroy street.  All in all, an excellent evening.

Grom, several locations in New York City; this one was at 233 Bleecker St (at Carmine), (+1) 212 206 1738, http://www.grom.it/eng/gelaterie.php, small $5.25, medium $6.25, large $7.25, extra-large $8.25

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