Morano Gelato

57 S Main StSte 101 – Hanover, NH 03755 • (603) 643-4233 • moranogelato.com
When our friends implored that we simply must go to this “amazing” gelato place in Hanover, you can imagine that this was met with a healthy dose of ferocious skepticism. I didn’t tell them this at the time, obviously, but they read the blog, so I guess the jig is up.

Well, I’ll be damned, because it just might be the best gelato I’ve ever had. The Almond Rum Crunch being an Ultimate and a firm glove across the face of lesser gelato peddlers. You heard me Grom! I don’t think I have ever tasted the presence of the rum in any other ice cream that bears its name like did at Morano. Just wow.

In fact, this place was so good, I made my friend take me back for seconds! Not on the same day mind you. I do have someself-control.

My only gripe on day two is that about 80% of the flavors changed, which has its plusses, but the loss of Almond Rum Crunch was a rough one for me, I’m not gonna lie. Still going through the loss, so I kinda don’t wanna talk about it right now. Need my space.

Fortunately, Morano crushes it on a bevy of other flavors like the Dark Chocolate which is so rich it probably doesn’t get hit with the AMT.

Equally strong, but wildly different is the Wild berries flavor, bursting with fruity brightness that leaps off of your spoon into your mouth. Same can almost be said for the Black Raspberry, but it’s a touch less unique, so I wouldn’t quite put it at the same level.

Of the nutty persuasion I gotta give it to Pistachio. Always a gelato crowd pleaser and Morano handily delivers. The hazelnut is also strong, but just not quite as flavor-forward as its greener compadre.

On par with the nutters I would place the Espresso, which manages to toe the line masterfully between creamy dessert and powerful coffee kick, paying faithful homage to the drink from which it hails.

A notch down from there would be the Stratacca or Chocolate chip. It’s still VERY good mind you, but when you are choosing amongst diamonds, gold starts to lose a bit of its luster. You feel me?

In fact, the only two flavors that were just okay for me were White Chocolate and the

Strawberry, Nutella Crunch. I know, right? Would’ve expected those to be winners too, but it’s kinda hard to complain when so many other flavors are lit.

Not too shabby for a woman who just decided to visit Italy for a few months to learn how to make gelato and winds up schooling everyone!

Oh, and if you don’t live anywhere near Hanover, fret not. She has two other locations. One in Chestnut Hill, MA and the other in Westfield, NJ. Sadly, there are none near Westport, CT, but I’m working on that. 😉

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Bitez Dondurma

Ataturk Caddesi 48 A/3-4, 48400, Turkey • +90 536 480 47 24 • bitezdondurma.com

Unless it has freezer burn or fell off of your cone onto the ground, ice cream is seldom a disappointment.  But as mood-altering good as it is, the Turks take it to a whole other level. Sure, the Italians have them beat with gelato, but what they don’t have is Tutti Frutti, which sort of tastes like Panettone in ice cream form. Granted the Italians created Panettone, so checkmate on that one.

Several other flavors shine at Bitez Dondurma as well (which means Bitez Ice Cream- Bitez being a town in the south of Turkey where the company is originally from before turning into a big chain), from their rich, creamy chocolate to nutty pistachio and hazelnut. In fact, you really can’t go wrong. And truth be told, the best way to go is layers, like how your mama told you to dress in the winter, only at Bitez they do it with thin layers of killer ice cream (pictured). It has the total opposite effect your mother was intending, but it sure tastes a lot better than a wool sweater.

Joey’s By the Shore

64 Compo Beach SWestport, CT 06880 • (203) 227-5356
 

They kinda have you by the balls and they know it, so don’t expect anything above cafeteria-grade grub. But you’re on the beach with no other options within a mile, so just go with it. Unless you were smart enough to pack tastier options in your cooler or are willing to bite into a seagull.

Inside, it is a sweaty, under-dressed, over-merchandised, fast food hell with very few choices that are under 5,000 calories of deep-fried sin. From fries, to chicken fingers to fried oysters and onion rings. Burgers and hot dogs, grilled cheese, buttered lobster rolls. It’s definitely not the place to go if you want to look svelte in a bikini. That said, there are wraps and deli sandwiches and watermelon to help keep you from porking out too, too much.

Conversely, there’s a whole other side solely dedicated to sweets and ice cream. And while this does nothing to move the needle toward healthy options, there is Chloe’s Real Frozen Fruit, which is the lesser of evils and one of the better things you can get there in terms of both health and taste, with the exception of the watermelon, I suppose.

The Blue Pig

121 Maple St. Croton On Hudson, NY10520 • (914) 271-3850 • thebluepigicecream.com

ICECREAM

The place is cute and the service is friendly. But most importantly, the ice cream is solid. Granted I don’t think it’s Earth-shattering. The chocolate is very good (pictured). And the banana chocolate chip was also quite good. But the blueberry crumble was a bit of a bummer. And so was whatever flavor my wife got, so underwhelming I don’t even recall what it was. Of course I could ask her, but she’s busy talking to Applecare right now, and we all know how that can go…

So with a 50/50 hit ratio it’s the embodiment of hit and miss, but if you’re in the area, it’s worth the visit. Especially if you’re coming form the beach and want a little something to cool you down. But I most certainly wouldn’t go out of my way for it.

3 teeth

 

Leopold’s Ice Cream

212 E Broughton St. Savannah, GA 31401 • (912) 234-4442leopoldsicecream.com

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Once upon a time I used to work at one of the best ice cream parlors in the country, East India in Winter Park, Florida. The inventors of Oreo Ice Cream. I know according to Wikipedia Emack & Bolio’s in Boston claims they did it in 1975 and Huggs McShane from Portland claims they did it in 1978 but I can assure you they were both behind East India who had already been serving it for years by 1974.

The reason I bring this up is that I think it gives me unofficial ice cream expert credentials. So, if a court case were to ever break out over ice cream, I believe that I could serve as an expert witness if need be. Thus, it is with great pride and self-proclaimed expertise that I give a resounding two thumbs up to Leopold’s. Even with all the hype, Leopold’s sailed over the bar. Every flavor we tried was a work of frozen magic. Disney’s Elsa, eat your heart out.

My favorite was the Rum Bisque, made with a serious doses of actual rum, making it a clever way to circumvent open container laws. Another clever touch is the addition of hazelnut macaroon chunks throughout, making it more addictive than the alcohol within, if that’s even possible.

A very close second was the Honey & Almond (pictured). So rich with honey, if your eyes were closed you’d swear your tongue was halfway up the ass of a queen bee. But in a good way. It’s just awesome. Almost hard to believe how pure the flavor is, but I guess it’s to be expected from a town that prides itself so strongly on the sticky stuff.

And last but not least, the chocolate chocolate chip. A bit less inventive than the first two, but every bit as delish in its own right. Made with decadent chunks of dark chocolate folded into a rich, creamy ball of cocoa bliss. Screw Coco Puffs. This will make you certifiable for certain.

***Okay, year two and once again we made the pilgrimage to Leopold’s, this time trying a few new flavors, all of which proven to only further solidify my love for this former Hollywood Producer turned ice cream tycoon. The best of the new three being the Frozen Hot Chocolate, complete with marshmallows, of course. It’s basically Rocky Road without the rocks (walnuts). Next for me would be the Pistachio, loaded to the gills with chunks of actual pistachios. And finally, the plain old chocolate. It’s good for what it is, but a touch boring comparatively. But you really can’t go wrong here, no matter what you choose, so feel free to let your cravings guide you.

5 teeth

 

Local

75 S Greeley Ave. Chappaqua, NY 10514(914) 238-0698chappaqualocal.com

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While there is nothing out and out amazing about Local, it’s name couldn’t be better suited. It is the perfect, charming little stop for locals to have a quick bite, share some post soccer ice cream (SoCo) with the kids or to grab and go some of their kickass vegetarian chili and cornbread during a polar vortex.

But apart from the chili and cornbread, the food is capable. Nothing that will have you running up and down King Street euphorically, but it’ll do, just like Babe, the pig. Honorable mentions should be noted for the coconut brownie and rocky road ice cream.

The other thing I like about Local is the owner, Adam. Such a nice guy you can’t help but like the place. And speaking of nice, his staff is always friendly as well, a touch slow sometimes, but always friendly.

And last but not least, the décor has a contemporary vibe to it, leaning into natural elements to cue the other meaning of its name, they source only local ingredients, and thus yet another reason to love the place, even if it isn’t flawless.

3 teeth