On a distant Saturday afternoon, Stephy, Debster and I paid a visit to La Bella Gelateria for some old-world, handcrafted gelato.
The name and description of this downtown gelato place are already enticing. The fact that it’s hand-crafted daily definitely gave me some pretty high expectations as to the quality of the gelato, and I was certainly not disappointed. In the store, it’s recommended that you pay for a size first and then choose your flavour. With so many different varieties to pick from, as well as the ability to sample up to three of them before going through with one, you should definitely go through with this.
Their philosophy is “Noi lo facciamo davanti a tutti,” or “We do it in front of everyone.” This is certainly true: through the window, you can probably get a peak at what James is whipping up today. Something to note is that although their flavours tend to change daily, you can always keep yourself updated with their Twitter – social media at its finest!
We sat out outside to eat our gelato. A somewhat quieter part of downtown, it’s a phenomenal place to just sit down if it’s sunny.
I ended up getting the earl grey gelato. Being a fan of the rich fullness of breakfast tea, I wanted to see how this would translate into gelato form. I was very pleased with this. The flavours were nicely balanced, and the smooth texture clearly indicated that this had not been factory-processed and then frozen overnight. There appeared to be small bits of tea leaves within, which really suggested that an attempt at higher quality and authenticity of flavour was made. Suffice to say, it was certainly made very well.
Stephy ordered a scoop of the Thai Coconut gelato. She said that the flavour was quite light, but the smooth and creamy texture definitely made up for it.
For whatever reason, Debster’s was in one of their take-out cups. I couldn’t remember what hers was called… but it sure looks tasty!
I made a second visit here with Eggshell on the evening of June 15th – yes, only I would want to stop for gelato in the middle of a riot. This time around, I wanted something a little more fun and opted for the Mike’s Hard Lemonade sorbetto. The server was kind enough to top it off with a bit of regular lemon sorbetto, too. Once again, I was not disappointed: the texture of the sorbetto was icy in a satisfying, appropriate way without giving the impression of overnight storage. The hard lemonade taste was certainly attained here; I think I like it better in sorbet form, to be honest. The lemon was quite sour, but I would prefer this to a sickeningly sweet citrus flavour. Despite the delay in our departure from the downtown area on that fateful night, I think this stop was worth it.
Something that is so painstakingly and creatively made is not going to come cheap. A single scoop of gelato here will cost $5.50, but you’re definitely getting quality over quantity. Incidentally, you can purchase their products in bulk to save some money with a large group of people. Overall, I would definitely recommend La Bella Gelateria as a frozen dessert shop that’s more than worth the trip. I can see their banner from where I work and as much as I’d like to, I’m definitely going to have to resist the urge to get a scoop every day – maybe every other day?
Conclusion: Andy ate a lot.
La Bella Gelateria: Old-World Handcrafted Gelato
1001 W Cordova St.