I mentioned Grom in my previous post and since I had dinner in the West Village once again, I figured it was worth a re-visit. I ate at Keste, which is one of the new hot brick-oven pizza joints in town. So what better way to end a rustic Neapolitan dinner than with typical Italian ice cream?
Grom is an Italian gelato chain that came to New York a few years ago. The Upper West Side location has a huge line down the street almost every night. The gelato is not cheap, but it is really really good.
The shop itself is rather sterile and modern looking. The employees are usually young, but friendly enough. And the flavors, which all go by their Italian names, are varied and change pretty regularly.
The girl behind the counter made a face when I picked my first flavor to sample - liqourice. I picked up on her judgement and when I accused her of not liking this flavor, she admitted that it was the only flavor she didn't like. I can empathize because black licorice is not my favorite flavor in the world. But I found this to be very delicate with just the right balance between herbaceousness and sweetness.
Fortunately, my next choice met the girl's approval a bit more: Marron Glaces, which is a traditional Italian candy with candied chestnuts. This refreshingly did not remind me of Christmas. But it had that delicious, rich sweet chestnut flavor without being mealy or spicy (two adjectives I think of when I think of chestnuts).
It took minutes of agonizing to decide, but I picked Caramello with pink salt and Tiramisu for my actual order. The caramello was great. The saltiness was very subtle and just enough to balance the deep sweetness of the caramel. The tiramisu could have been a bit more espresso flavored for me, but all the components of a tiramisu were present, included pieces of ladyfingers mixed in.
Everything I tasted was incredible. The flavors were all sweet without being overpowering. The add-in's were perfectly distributed. The flavors were strong and lingering. The mouthfeel was incredibly soft and creamy. Somehow you feel like you're in Italy (even if you've never stepped foot in the country). For a brief moment, while the gelato-filled spoon lingers in your mouth, everything is perfect with the world.
My only complaint with Grom is the price. A small order is $5.25 (about the same size as Sant Ambroeus' $3). But when you consider how much a plane ticket to Italy costs, I think those five measly bones are worth it.