There’s nothing like a New York heat wave to really know how good ice cream can taste. Being an all-season, all-occasion, any time of the day ice cream devotee, I don’t need an excuse to splurge in the frozen treat department. But give me an excessive heat warning and the possibility of a blackout, and I’m ready to serve. Especially the good stuff, we don’t want any of that going to waste…
At the Ciao Bella stand downstairs at Grand Central, there are a team of people who really know their ice-cream and want to share the love. One customer tasted 13 flavours every day for three weeks. He had vouchers, but that was incidental. When I called in today, I tasted the chocolate, pumpkin and spice, banana, hazelnut, strawberry, cinnamon, key lime, vanilla, blackberry cabernet and blood orange sorbet. Lucky there were 5 staff on hand. But there was no hesitation from Cluny and his generous crew – they are looking to tap into people’s memories with taste – and it works. Whenever they serve Belgium chocolate s’mores, they sell out in an hour. I didn’t have any historic revelations ( not through lack of trying ) but I remember tasting a fig and balsamic sorbet at Ciao Bella a couple of years ago that I thought could not be surpassed in deliciousness. Think again Fitzy, the vanilla today was exceptional. Cluny churned out a story about their ice cream being extra creamy because it contained less air. If I didn’t prefer the texture to the whipped variety this would have been a bit of a stretch, but then again, I’ll even believe that the use of unrefined cane sugar makes ice cream nutritious.
With so many fabulous flavours to choose from ( and all of them can be made into milkshakes ) the temptation is to have half scoops of many rather than whole scoops of less. But as the scoopers pointed out to me, there are 125 tracks in the station not counting Metro North and the shuttle, so deliberating customers could jam the whole system mid order. That could be a sticky situation – just imagine missing your train by procrastinating between the pear and the pistachio…. Or the passionfruit….Or the pecan… Or the peaches and cream… Ciao Bella!
How yummy I want the vanilla and the passion fruit yum
Between Ciao Bella & the Oyster Bar l may never leave Grand Central Bliss
I had best hit the gym, you have my taste buds going wild, such deliciousness I could start spooning sugar!!
Looks so good…Just have to visit if I am ever in New York again.
Top story, Fitzy. Sounds like my sort of place!!