Sunday, September 19, 2010

Professional Foray #12, Cones gelato, Bleecker St, NY

Happy news, dear readers!  I'm moving into the Bermuda Triangle of gelato - the rocky zone bordered by Bleecker Street, Carmine Street and 7th Avenue South, home to no less than three of New York's top gelaterie (Grom, l'Arte del Gelato and Cones) and one of my favorite Italian ice shops (Rocco's pasticceria).  Luckily I've got a fifth-floor walk-up, so hopefully the running up and down the stairs a few times a day will balance out the ice creams I'm sure I will eat a few times a day.  As a friend who knows me too well asked, when I told him where I was moving: "looks cute. is the kitchen going to be big enough for you, or do you plan to cycle through the ice cream shops for your daily nutrition?"

On that note, I headed to Cones with my wonderful friend/real estate broker Adam, to sample their wares for the first time in a decade.  Cones opened when I was in high school, and it was the first gourmet gelato shop in the neighborhood.  There was Moondog further north on Bleecker, and Bleecker St. Pastry and Rocco's selling icies, but there was nothing like this before - soft, very sweet and intensely flavored.  My best friend at the time, Emma Feigenbaum, fell hard for their Dom Perignon lemon sorbet.  She was always a woman of expensive tastes.  I liked the almond, if I remember correctly, but I always thought the flavors were a little too sugary, and attributed it to the proprietor's Argentine roots (desserts come very sweet in South America).  
Behold the halo of cinnamon

I tasted the almond, for old time's sake, and the corn, of which I had heard legions.  I really, really love corn - I can eat about a half-dozen to ten ears in a sitting - and corn + sugar + cream + a sprinkling of cinnamon could only turn out well, my instincts told me.  As I tasted and surveyed the lay of the land, indecision settled over me like a cloud.  There was also a chocolate flavor with white chocolate chips, and a maté flavor that the scooper told me was similar to green tea.  Could I taste just one or two more?  No.  A firm "no."  I had reached the two-taste maximum, and with the owner standing by, there was no bending the iron-clad rule.  I stalked the freezer cases, still unsure of what to get.  

"If she has this much trouble choosing an ice cream flavor, imagine what she'll be like when it's time to choose an apartment," an older man nearby commented to Adam.  We swiftly corrected him, noting that it was taking me about twice as long to select my cone as it had to choose an apartment.  In the end, I settled on chocolate with white chocolate snow (little chocolate shavings) and corn, sprinkled with ground cinnamon.  The corn was exceptional, delicate and sweet, like a frozen version of atole, the Mexican corn drink made with corn flour, vanilla, milk and cinnamon.  The chocolate was less impressive - not dark or chocolate-y enough, and the white chocolate shavings were too small to taste but large enough to make the ice cream texture gritty.  Since it's around the corner, expect updates soon.  272 Bleecker Street, 212-414-4795, 1 scoop $4.75, 2 scoops $5.75, 3 scoops $7.


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