Monday, November 22, 2010

Professional Foray #13: Sorry Grom (and sorry readers), I'm back - with a new NYC favorite, Maialino

Photo by Kelly O'Connor from Maialino's Facebook page
Readers, if there are still any of you left, I'm sorry.  I've neglected you (but not ice cream) for a long time.

However, someone has brought me back into the fold.  And her name is Jennifer Shelbo, pastry chef at Maialino.

Friends, this is the best gelato in New York.  Not only is the texture perfect - and I mean spot-on, no margin of error, to the .0001% perfect - her flavors are wildly good.  It's creamy, but light on the tongue and melts instantly in the mouth, bum-rushing the palate.  After a very, very good meal (and a wonderful evening at the theater - run, don't walk to catch Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones in "Driving Miss Daisy") I had the bruschetta di canella (Italian for "cinnamon toast"), chocolate, and almond straciatella.  The cinnamon is a pale, delicately flavored cinnamon gelato with crunchy bits of cinnamon-y cracker-y stuff on top, like the topping on a great muffin, sprinkled on the gelato.  The almond was amaretto flavored, with wisps of great dark chocolate woven through.  The chocolate was complex and richly flavored without being heavy, dense or overwhelming.  Because of its effortless texture, it went down easy.

Contrast this with, for example, the chocolate at Grom, previously my contender for best New York gelato.  I don't know if I should admit this but the last time I had a taster of the dark chocolate, I puckered my mouth and said "I'm just not strong enough for that."  See, I don't want to move into a mindset where the gelato and I become adversaries.  No, I'd rather the gelato to be my intimate confidante.  And at Maialino, I think I've found my new best friend.


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