Il laboratorio del gelato opened in 2002, but it’s hard to understand how New York City kept going before the perfect Italian ice cream stitched it all together.
By David Stone
Special for the Roosevelt Island Daily News
The magic of il laboratorio del gelato got its start in founder Jon F. Snyder’s grandparents’ Carvel Ice Cream store in Westchester County. That passion, he says, erupted during a visit to Italy when he was 19. And gelato taught him the true meaning… well, not of life, but of ice cream.
Ice cream, Italian style.
Back in New York, he quit school and launched Ciao Bella Gelato Company, but after five years, he sold it and went back to school.
Eager to produce the world’s finest ice cream, though, three years later, on the Lower East Side, he opened il laboratorio del gelato. That’s where we found him.
il laboratorio del gelato: A Love Story
One summer afternoon after touring the world class Tenement Museum on Orchard Street, my wife dragged me off to a small storefront, little more than a broad window really, and reacquainted me with ice cream. Ice cream like nothing before.
I probably ordered something as close to generic chocolate as I could find. Look, I still have a hard time understanding why God ever made room for any other flavor. But He did, and now, it’s history, my history.
My history with gelato was most recently highlighted with a triple of black sesame, espresso and green tea. With 50 flavors from which to explore, glorious combinations become easy.
That trip to the border of heaven tickled my taste buds at Lab U, il laboratorio del gelato’s newest outpost in the heart of NYU country. It’s on University Place, exactly halfway between Washington and Union Squares. This one’s closed now, but the main location at the corner of Ludlow and Houston Streets still thrives.
What’s up with all those flavors?
The delights of storefront gelato stirred to life by Snyder’s crew are a bit of an accident.
Conceived as a “custom kitchen for discerning chefs,” il laboratorio works with local chefs, developing unique flavors. The total is now nearing 300. Lucky for us mere consumers, they share the magic with us.
And if they don’t expand the count too quickly, I want to sample every one of them. Maybe before this summer fades completely.
Il laboratorio del gelato’s main space, where the magic is conjured, is at 188 Ludlow Street. Stuck in New Jersey? There’s also a store at 598 Valley Road in Montclair.
Also from Assorted Ideas, Large & Small
- Andrew Cuomo’s Smear Team: His Brother and Top Advisers, Transcripts RevealJosefa Velasquez, Samantha Maldonado, and Clifford Michel, THE CITY This article was originally publishedon Nov 29 at 10:45pm ESTby THE CITY/Sign up here to get the latest stories from THE CITY delivered to you each morning. […]
- On a November Saturday, a Twist & Turn as Seasons ChangeSeasons change in a flash sometimes, and on this occasion, it was a flash of lighting with a twist of possible tornado by day’s end. By David Stone Assorted Ideas, Large & […]
- The East River is not a true river. It’s really a sewer.The East River, separating Manhattan from Queens and Brooklyn, is many things, but river is not one of them. Basically speaking, it’s a sunken valley. Realistically speaking, it’s a sewer. By David […]
- What’s Killing Hawks, Owls, Ducks and Squirrels in New York City Parks?Katie Honan, THE CITY This article was originally publishedon Oct 18 at 7:37pm EDTby THE CITY/Sign up here to get the latest stories from THE CITY delivered to you each morning. The dead, male, red-tailed hawk […]
- New York City Views — Fraternal Twins, 2nd Avenue & 59th StreetMore from Assorted Ideas, Large & Small
Categories: New York City