Though small, L'Arte del Gelato's West Village store is bright and inviting. The two-dozen varieties of gelati and sorbetti are displayed with iconic adornments (e.g., slices of fruit, nuts, coffee beans, etc.) which enhance their visual appeal. The flavors are labeled in Italian, thus affording a good opportunity to thrill in the trill and flaunt one's pronunciation.
Unfortunately, the visual sensation here far exceeds the gustatory one. The sweetness of the flavors do not compare favorably with the refreshing tastes of Cones or Grom. The watermelon sorbetto was laden with sugar; the grapefruit was not much better. The intensely flavored passion fruit sorbetto was too sweet as well, but less cloying than the others. When I treat myself to sorbet on a warm summer's day, I'd like something refreshing. In this case, however, I felt as though I needed a palate cleanser afterward.
With their high prices (my small cup cost $4.50), L'Arte del Gelato ought to accept credit cards and offer more than a scanty two samples. Recent DOH sanitary violations at the Chelsea Market location further militate against the likelihood of my hasty return. The upshot: this art is better enjoyed with the eye than with the palate.
L'Arte del Gelato
75 Seventh Avenue South (SE corner Barrow St), Manhattan
By train: 1 to Christopher St-Sheridan Sq
By bus: M20 (downtown)
75 Ninth Avenue (between 15th & 16th Sts), Manhattan
By train: A,C,E (IND) to 14th St; L (BMT) to 8th Av
By bus: M11, M14D
West Side (May-October):
Lincoln Center Plaza, Manhattan
By train: 1 to 66th Street
By bus: M5, M7, M11, M20, M66, M104