Sunday, July 8, 2007

La Gelateria, Cleveland

After a meekly executed meal at Lola in downtown Cleveland, we wanted to satisfy our collective sweet tooth and honor our longstanding tradition of completing a night on the town by eating fresh, warm doughnuts late at Presti’s eastern bakery in Little Italy. But since Presti’s mysteriously changed its name to Gilly’s of all things and then quickly closed, we stopped by La Gelateria in the adjacent Cedar Hill neighborhood.

La Gelateria is doing its utmost to make me forget about Presti’s, at least during the summer. Operated by Valerio Iorio, who reputedly learned his craft at the renown Il Gelato Vivoli in Firenze, La Gelateria is a small shop that makes splendid gelato. His gelati are very light due to the lack of cream in the recipes. He uses three basic ingredients--whole milk, sugar and water --and he keeps the gelati at a temperature slightly warmer than the typical ice cream parlor. As a result, Iorio achieves a smooth and creamy texture without using cream.

I ordered the tartufo and espresso which were especially good because of the purity of their respective flavors. For this coffee lover, the espresso gelato was notably excellent because it tasted like undiluted espresso though its basic recipe called for what is normally a perversion: the mixture of coffee, milk and sugar. The robust espresso flavor was front and center while the milk and sugar's sweetness was self-effacing, just content to let the espresso shine.

No gelateria in Los Angeles is this good though there are certainly some interesting gelati available at Pizzeria Mozza and Providence. H-Bomb and J could not think of a gelateria in their West Village neighborhood that matched La Gelateria. It just goes to show that there are some venerable treasures remaining in Cleveland, and with La Gelateria even some newer ones.

La Gelateria
12421 Cedar Road
Cleveland Heights
(216) 229-2637


Anonymous said...

You posted this a long time ago so maybe you have figured it out, but Presti's hasn't closed. They moved to a bigger place a few storefronts down. It's still just as deilicious :)

Steve said...

Thanks for reading the post. Did the doughnut shop also re-open? I thought it was sold, changed its name to Jilly's, and then closed. I know the bakery moved to that expanded shop.