Last Sunday, after a sweltering day wandering around the city and a light dinner courtesy of Whole Foods, what was there to do to complete the weekend other than eat ice cream? I was downtown, so I popped into the Ciao Bella outpost in the World Financial Center Winter Garden to grab some gelato before heading back uptown.
A few tastes, first: Maple ginger snap (which was okay, not powerfully maple-y, but well spiced); malted milk ball; hazelnut biscotti. The latter two were the winners. In my cup went a paddle of hazelnut biscotti, firmer in texture than the looser, melty malted milk ball layered on top. The malted milk ball was a Whopper in ice cream form, releasing chocolatey malt flavor onto the tongue and surprising the teeth with the occasional full malted milk ball to crunch on. Hazelnut biscotti was a lighter expression of hazelnut with a few pockets of crumbly cookie studded throughout.
The whole thing was cooling and comforting and soothing to my tired, overheated stomach. Ciao Bella is a standard on the gelato circuit, maybe not as powerful and rich as Grom, but sometimes that's not a bad thing. If you're in the market for something sweet and you find yourself downtown (or anywhere near a freezer case where Ciao Bella is sold in brightly-colored pints), you'll be happy-- if a few dollars poorer-- if you pick up a scoop or three.
225 Liberty Street, in the WFC Winter Garden