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By Steven Li on 2006-03-10

March 10, 2006


Sandwiches at Tiny’s left us full but the stomach which holds savory foods is a completely separate entity from the stomach lucky enough to store sweets. Naturally we wandered in the direction of Il Laboratorio del Gelato, anticipating little blue and white cups bearing the scoops of cold sweet wonder.

Upon examination of today’s flavors and a sampling of the toasted almond and pistachio I choose a scoop of fresh mint and black mission fig ($3.25 for a small).

It tasted just as the name promised. The fresh fig, a creamy brown concoction studded with bits of sweet figs was so simple and basic that it had me sitting in stunned silence. I am spoiled and can never eat gelato elsewhere (except for Mario Batali’s olive oil gelato). All I could taste was cool, creamy figs. The gelato was sweet only to the extent that a natural fig would be and nothing more. Oh sigh. Good food makes me so happy! The mint was equally stunning. What makes the gelato here a success is that everything is SO FRESH. You taste the FLAVOR of that item and nothing else. It was as if Mr. Snyder chopped up fresh mint and magically turned that batch of plain mint into gelato. Both flavors were very dense, but not too thick. It melted gracefully on the surface of your tongue and gently slipped away, leaving only the memory of a taste so spectacular you could hardly imagine it to be true.

Shann ordered the vanilla and fresh mint. I only had a small taste of the vanilla and after tasting the fig and mint, was less shocked by the buttery smooth texture. The vanilla was pure and simple, gently flecked with specks of vanilla beans. $3.25 for a small cup isn’t cheap but surely not unreasonable for the quality you receive. It’s small shop with a small bench in and outside the shop, enough room for two to three people who just want to bask in the delight of wonderful eating.

il Laboratorio del Gelato
95 Orchard Street
NY, NY 10002
(212) 343-9922

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