Monday, October 17, 2005

Scoops 4 New York City Entry #26

One quick entry about New York ice creams before winter hits. What I have learned in my explorations of the best frozen desserts in New York is that no ice cream parlor does everything well - there are gaps and pleasures throughout.

I recently tried two well-known establishments in lower Manhattan: Chinatown Ice Cream Factory and Il Laboratorio del Gelato. In each I had a superior scoop, and in each some disappointment.

In Chinatown I tried Ginger, Black Sesame, and Taro. I endorse Ginger Ice Cream. This ice cream is both creamy and filled with a rich ginger taste. Not too sweet, but pungent. It is a delightful treat after a Chinese banquet. The black sesame was pleasant. It lacked a rich flavor, but the sesame was satisfying, and the visual appeal was novel. Taro was bland, perhaps like taro itself, and was unmemorable.

On the Lower East Side, Il Laboratorio is known for the quality of its gelato and sorbetto. Their Black Plum Sorbetto was plummy deep. A truly superb scoop, and one that justifies the laboratory's experiments. Their chocolate and marscapone were both worthy for the attention of connoisseurs, and I endorse them. Less successful was a pistachio that, although filled with nut meats, lacked a distinctive taste and had a disappointing mouth feel. Not bad, but not a choice that I will make when I return next spring. The pear sorbetto seemed thin and did not reflect the essence of pear.

In thinking back of all the ice cream parlors I have visited one scoop disappointed, but at least there was always another to salve my wounds.

Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
65 Bayard Street
Manhattan (Chinatown)

Il Laboratorio del Gelato
95 Orchard Street
Manhattan (Lower East Side)

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