When visiting Grom, you may be tempted, Baskin-Robbins-style, to head straight over to the ice cream counter to pick which flavor has the biggest chunks of chocolate, fresh-fruitiest color, and what have you– NOT SO FAST! If you do, you’ll lose your place in line like we did. There’s really not much to see anyway as all the gelati are contained in canisters with metal lids. Plus, if you wait patiently in front of the registers for your turn, you’ll be waited upon by Grom professionals who will supply you with samples upon request. Another plus is that, even for a small, you can get two flavors. This way, my friend and I tasted three delicious gelati and a sorbet: Bacio, which is a popular Italian flavor of chocolate and hazelnut; Crema di Grom, containing “Battifollo” biscuits and chocolate chips; Crema come una volta, containing egg yolks and a hint of lemon; and Albicocca (Apricot) sorbet.
The gelato here is so smooth and silky, it’s hard to believe it’s made with whole milk, rather than straight cream. Apparently, the texture and thickness is due to carob flour. I have a personal hatred for carob as someone long ago decided that it could somehow pass for chocolate, and I was tricked in my youth into accepting horrid carob chips instead of chocolate chips. Perhaps now I will finally make peace with carob. I expected the Battifollo biscuits to taste like biscotti, because those seem to be the fancy Italian cookies we’re all used to. They weren’t, though– they were very light and crunchy, but not brain-rattlingly-so– and they held up nicely to the gelato. The sorbet was the best I’ve ever had, tasting like a cold, puréed version of the freshest apricots. My companion was absolutely delighted with it. “I now feel vindicated,” he said with a tear in his eye, “When I was a kid, my friends used to make fun of me for liking sorbet and often choosing it over ice cream. This is my childhood ideal of sorbet.” Trust me, he wasn’t exaggerating.
You must check out Grom’s website to see the pic of a vaguely threatening cow welcoming you. It’s also a total foodie wonderland of a site, as there are detailed descriptions of each flavor and ingredient, and gelato pairings for “him,” “her,” and “the other.” New York is so lucky that Italy has graced it with Grom– fantastico!Grom (Greenwich Village location) 233 Bleeker St. @ Carmine St. New York, NY 10065 212-206-1738 Grom (Upper West Side location) 2165 Broadway @ 76th St. 212-362-1837 http://www.grom.it/eng/index.php