While spring still lingers a bit with late showers and evening breezes, I took the rare opportunity to see what all the hype about gelato on the upper West side was all about. Enough has been written about Grom, the Italian gelato chain that has finally made it stateside, that I feared I would be disappointed. It is easy to remember while in Rome, ordering that delicious gelato, leaving the counter, and trying to eat that cone as quickly as possible just so I could go back to buy a second one.
A good international product should transport you back in time to the place where you first enjoyed the delicacy, and Grom delivers.
Grom proclaims poetically about its quality and its scruples; only use the best raw artisanal materials to produce a genuine superior product. This means fresh fruit in season, no color or additives, and even the use of San Bernardo mineral water. Eggs come from organic chickens and coffee beans from Central America. The result is astounding.
Of the flavors I have tried, I found the Gianduja the most interesting. It had a chocolaty texture, but was refined and robust. The pistachio was superb, and the stracciatella outstanding. Because of Grom’s technique, you basically cannot choose a bad flavor. My least favorite flavors were the tiramisu and zabaione, but I suspect that was just merely a matter of taste.
It was not hot enough to try a granita, but out of the sorbets, the lemon was a knockout. The lemon is from the Amalfi coast, and I was blown away by the intensity of lemon. In East Harlem, there was an ice shop called Rex’s who would only open if it was 85 degrees or hotter. His lemon sorbet was tops. I think that Grom’s actually ekes out the number one spot here.
Grom offers containers to go, and you’ll find the prices extremely high, but you get what you pay for. If the line is short, and you’ve got ten dollars jingling around in your pocket, indulge yourself, you’re worth it.