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GROM - New Artisinal Gelateria


JosephB
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...At least as good as Capogiro fresh from the source, I'd say.

That is a very serious claim you're making.

:smile: It's possible that there's something I'm not getting about Capogiro, but while it's clearly excellent gelato, I have to confess that I can't recall ever having a "wow" moment with anything I've had there. Believe me, I'd like to be more impressed with it -- I live a couple of blocks away.

I should also qualify my earlier statement to the effect that I found GROM's pistachio inferior to Il Laboratorio's by saying that I haven't had pistachio direct from Il Laboratorio in probably two years or so. We bought a pint of pistachio from Dean & Deluco on the UES last week and it was pathetic, overwhelmingly creamy with very little pistachio flavor. I don't know if this is what's being served at the source of late, or if this pint was just not particularly fresh, or whatever.

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I tried GROM today and I had the pistachio and stracchiatella and tried some of the almond granita. Everything tasted delicious.

I am very sensitive to perservatives and chemicals. I can't eat tasti delite because after i eat ti i get a migraine.

I assumed GROM was all natural but there is def some type of perservative in it. I got a horrible headache after eating the gelato.

I go to Laboritorio gelato often and have not gotten sick from it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Don't bother going. The service is so bad, it's not worth the overpriced, overhyped, only a bit above average gelato. The gelato tasted like regular premium ice cream. Hiking up to the UES to deal with incompetent servers and "meh" gelato? Don't bother!

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I was at Il Laboratorio with a friend this afternoon. I asked for and received three free samples from the friendly counterwoman, and was then given what seemed like a perfectly normal portion of two terrific flavors that went together well: Maple walnut and buttermilk -- sweet and sour. The Maple walnut tasted like I was eating strong Grade A or possibly a mix of Grades A and B maple syrup. My friend is from Rome and was happy with her gelato -- coffee, which was really strong. She and I chatted with the owner some.

So, anyway, in no way am I discounting your experience, but in my admittedly limited experience with Il Laboratorio, I've found them fine.

My wife and I went to Il Lab one afternoon last week when we were in NYC and we were somewhat disappointed. The counterwoman was surly and the selections were quite limited - only about half a dozen choices and many empty bins. We were pleased with the size of the portions and enjoyed the Thai Chili Chocolate, in particular, but I would not race back to its out of the way location any time soon.

If Grom and Il Lab are the best NYC has to offer, I'll skip the gelato and seek out other things when I visit the city. I'll just have to get my gelato fix on my next visit to Philadelphia.

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My wife and I went to Il Lab one afternoon last week when we were in NYC and we were somewhat disappointed.  The counterwoman was surly and the selections were quite limited - only about half a dozen choices and many empty bins.  We were pleased with the size of the portions and enjoyed the Thai Chili Chocolate, in particular, but I would not race back to its out of the way location any time soon.[...]

Sounds like they need to fire some of their counterpeople. I'll add that I've been back since then and got a combination of Cinnamon and -- darn, I can't remember what the other flavor was! Was it their Hazelnut? Can't remember. Anyway, service was fine. It just seems like there are some bad employees there. Its location isn't out of the way to me, though: It's no more than a 15-minute walk. And I like the gelato. So I'll continue to patronize it from time to time.

I'll have to go to Philadelphia and try Capogiro some time.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Sounds like they need to fire some of their counterpeople. I'll add that I've been back since then and got a combination of Cinnamon and -- darn, I can't remember what the other flavor was! Was it their Hazelnut? Can't remember. Anyway, service was fine. It just seems like there are some bad employees there. Its location isn't out of the way to me, though: It's no more than a 15-minute walk. And I like the gelato. So I'll continue to patronize it from time to time.

To be sure, my earlier poo-pooing of Il Laboratorio was based on one visit. But, it sounds like I'm certainly not alone in the observation on service. As for their gelato, I wasn't impressed.

I'll have to go to Philadelphia and try Capogiro some time.

Yes, you do! I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on Il Laboratorio/GROM post-Capogiro.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Sounds like they need to fire some of their counterpeople. I'll add that I've been back since then and got a combination of Cinnamon and -- darn, I can't remember what the other flavor was! Was it their Hazelnut? Can't remember. Anyway, service was fine. It just seems like there are some bad employees there. Its location isn't out of the way to me, though: It's no more than a 15-minute walk. And I like the gelato. So I'll continue to patronize it from time to time.

To be sure, my earlier poo-pooing of Il Laboratorio was based on one visit. But, it sounds like I'm certainly not alone in the observation on service. As for their gelato, I wasn't impressed.

I'll have to go to Philadelphia and try Capogiro some time.

Yes, you do! I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on Il Laboratorio/GROM post-Capogiro.

Never been to GROM and don't really intend to go, based on the comments here and in Chowhound.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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I've been to all 3. I'd rank il lab and Capogiro neck and neck with Grom a distant second. Capogiro gets kudos for having space to sit in & a bathroom. Both offer good quality gelato.

Then again, all of them pale in comparison to having a gelato from San Crispino and walking around in Rome...ahhhh...I'd give anything for that right now.

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I'm wondering if it's really possible to compare gelati (the product, not the service, bathroom facilities, or whatever) without actually tasting them side-by-side.?

Sure, San Crispino is awesome (as are a few others in Rome!), but damn, you're walking around in the Eternal City - not the upper west side/lower east side/Philadelphia.

Taste memory sometimes plays tricks, so until someone sits down with all 3 products, in front of them, and tastes them side by side...well, I'll continue to enjoy Il Lab and, in my mind only, think it's one of the top 2 gelato places in our city...

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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I'm not saying that my opinion's the end all be all. And of course you have to do a side-by-side taste test in order to be completely fair and etc. Maybe some have bad taste memory but to each their own.

I still stand by my words that Grom's overrated, overpriced and way overhyped. Not worth it!

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I've been to all 3.  I'd rank il lab and Capogiro neck and neck with Grom a distant second.  Capogiro gets kudos for having space to sit in & a bathroom.  Both offer good quality gelato. 

Then again, all of them pale in comparison to having a gelato from San Crispino and walking around in Rome...ahhhh...I'd give anything for that right now.

And I still think of the Macedonia di Frutta con Gelato that I used to have at Bar Il Palio on the Campo in Siena. But we ain't in Italy anymore, Dorothy! :biggrin:

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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  • 2 months later...

I finally made it to GROM yesterday. I sampled five or six varieties and each one had an intensity that I have not experienced in any frozen dessert. The pistachio was amazing, with the deep flavor of roasted nuts. They tone down the sugar so the flavors really come through. Luckily there was no crowd so I was able to get back on line and keep ordering. By the third time they were looking at me a little strangely.

I don't know for sure what is in this stuff, but there was none of the sticky mouth feel that I associate with the use of gums and stabilizers. The taste is absolutely fresh and clean.

Another NYC food obsession - just what my expanding waistline needs.

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  • 3 months later...

I just returned from a visit to NYC, where I tried both Laboratorio, Grom, and ice creams from WD-50! Hah.

Grom is pretty good. Very good, even. Some of the flavors are delicious, and their branding is impeccable. Clean, big windows, lots of white space. The texture, on the other hand, isn't great. There's a lot of crystallization. I believe it's lactose crystallization, given that they re-mix their stuff in the big batch freezer in the back. I couldn't say for sure. Other than that, I perceived some stabilizers or gums in the mouthfeel while eating it, and quite a bit afterwards. To be fair, there's less than in a lot of places.

I both admire and take issue with the way they post their nutritional content with the intention of being transparent and honest while never revealing their ingredients, or talking about them beyond saying that some of the ingredients are organic from their farm. It's fantastic marketing, but a little but dishonest.

In my opinion, Laboratorio blows them out of the water. Where Grom is sweet and vague, Lab gives pure bright flavors. Sure, there's some ice sometimes, but they don't use any stabilizers whatsoever. The honey crisp apple sorbet is the single best sobet I've ever purchased. I've made comparable (professionally), but I've never seen anyone else sell anything near that good. Their gelatos were intensely rich and dense, and left no trace of gums or stabilizers in my mouth afterwards. Yes, Grom is more traditional and typical, and by the standards of its category it is excellent, but I would take Lab over Grom any day.

Oh, and WD-50's ice creams just aren't very good. The brown butter sorbet is an interesting take on olive oil sorbets, with a poor execution, and white beer ice cream is just a poor choice of flavor that doesn't stand up to the milk and cream.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I love this gelato thread, and I love that New Yorkers bring up Capogiro's when talking gelato!

I am originally from Philly, so Capogiro's is my reference point when I'm comparing gelato. Their sorbettos are probably the best thing that I have ever eaten, period. A clean, intense, not-overwhelmed-by sugar fruity goodness that instills a constant craving for more, and necessitates a three hour drive every once in a while to satisfy. Their gelatos are also outstanding too...Thai Coconut Milk...mmmm.

I went to Cones this past weekend where I sampled the mango, blueberry, blackberry, corn, pumpkin, and ginger. The ginger was the best, very spicy and not too sweet, really embodying an intense freshly grated ginger flavor. The blueberry and corn were also good; the other flavors were just average...the pumpkin a bit too sugary for my tastes. I also visited Arte Del Gelato in the Chelsea Market awhile back, and had Dulce de Leche and Hazelnut, which were good, but lacking an intensity factor. I'm not sure if they use a base mix.

Tomorrow I was planning on stopping by Il Laboratorio to see what they can offer. Based on this thread, it sounds like Il Lab has a shop in the Bowery Whole Foods, and that this may be the preferred location, even in terms of selection!? I wouldn't have guessed that. Please confirm or refute.

To keep this post on topic, I wasn't aware of GROM, love gelato, and so will be visiting soon to throw it in to my comparison. Pessimistically, I don't have high hopes for GROM. I don't see how it's possible that a place that uses a base mix can come anywhere near a store who creates small batches of gelato that are individually infused with flavor. I also thought that REAL gelato was paddled, and not scooped, as it should be too soft for scooping. I'd be interested in feedback on that issue from those who have been to Italy. From what I have read, Il Lab is artisanal even if they do scoop , so I am hoping to at least come close to a Capogiro's experience. And maybe GROM's real italian base mix will add a certain something that is not attainable in the U.S.

"He was a very valiant man who first adventured on eating oysters." - King James I

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I remember gelato being scooped in Italy all the time.

That's interesting, I've never seen scooped gelato in Italy, only paddles.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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I went to both GROM and Il Lab in the Bowery Whole Foods yesterday. At Il Lab, I had Honeydew sorbet and Lavender Honey Gelato. Both were very flavorful, but the gelato was ROCK HARD. I asked for a sample and the guy could barely scrape the little spoon in the gelato without the spoon snapping. Once it melted and I stirred it around a little, it was much more enjoyable to consume. Is their actual storefront serving it a the same temp? The honeydew was fruity, fresh and not too sweet, and the Lavender Honey was smooth and sweet but somewhat savory, too...it reminded me of a cheese and truffled honey I had at Otto once. Very nice flavors, but the texture was disappointing. The selection of flavors was varied and exciting, which I like to see in a gelato shop. Why do they serve it so cold??

I am interested in the current comments about Italian gelato - scooping vs. paddling. I have never been to Italy and so wouldn't know, but I thought that gelato was supposed to be served at a certain temperature, and that this specified temperature/texture was part of the very nature of the dessert.

GROM had a great texture. The Pear sorbet was flawless. I don't know if they use a base mix for the sorbets? I tasted the Crem de GROM, which was creamy and nice but not extraordinary and ordered the Italian Yogurt to complement the Pear. The Yogurt was tangy and creamy, but a had a very fine grit to it, which was a little strange. I ate the whole thing so it didn't turn me off, and I didn't experience that grit with the other dairy flavor I tried, so it must have just been the Yogurt. I need to go back and try a few more milk based flavors before I can make a final personal judgement on whether the base mix dulls the flavor. And I'm looking forward to going back, so it was a good experience overall.

At this point, Capogiro's still comes out the winner for me, with intensity of flavors, texture, variety, presentation and amount of choices all being amazing. Even though GROM was good, they offered the "usual suspect" flavors, with only two or three that were a bit more adventurous, and there wasn't an abundant selection compared to Capogiro's. I also didn't like that they keep it in lidded bins....I suppose this helps the temperature control, but I like to see what's available. The metal bins made me think of soup. Price point should be a little lower, $5.25 for a small (and noticeably smaller than Capogiro's which comes in at $4.50) is pushing it.

Otto's gelato has been the best for me in NYC so far, on par with Capogiro's... really amazing stuff!!!

"He was a very valiant man who first adventured on eating oysters." - King James I

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I remember gelato being scooped in Italy all the time.

That's interesting, I've never seen scooped gelato in Italy, only paddles.

That's what I saw about 99% of the time, too. FWIW, the few places that scoop whose gelato I tried were consistently mediocre. I came to regard the presence of a scoop instead of a paddle as a harbinger of crappy gelato.

Re: mmm_chocolate's experience, I agree. Grom's NYC prices suck. They're much more reasonable (and they have cones!) in their Italy locations.

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I remember gelato being scooped in Italy all the time.

That's interesting, I've never seen scooped gelato in Italy, only paddles.

OK, I think I understand. I was thinking scoop = metal and paddle = wooden. But I gather it's a shape question. So no, the ball-shaped scoop doesn't exist in Italy, from what I've seen. I suppose the shape is called a paddle.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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They had cones at GROMs - a mom bought two cones for her kids while I was there. I don't remember if they're on the menu, but they did have them. Also, the clerk said that they will be opening up a second location in NYC "downtown" this summer.

"He was a very valiant man who first adventured on eating oysters." - King James I

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  • 4 weeks later...

I love love love Capogiro dark chocolate gelato.

Recently, I sampled Il Lab's Thai chili chocolate sorbet (too much chili for me), lychee lemongrass (nice and tangy, but very very hard) and rosewater poppy gelato (couldn't taste the rose at all).

I went to both GROM and Il Lab in the Bowery Whole Foods yesterday.  At Il Lab, I had Honeydew sorbet and Lavender Honey Gelato.  Both were very flavorful, but the gelato was ROCK HARD.  I asked for a sample and the guy could barely scrape the little spoon in the gelato without the spoon snapping.  Once it melted and I stirred it around a little, it was much more enjoyable to consume.  Is their actual storefront serving it a the same temp?  The honeydew was fruity, fresh and not too sweet, and the Lavender Honey was smooth and sweet but somewhat savory, too...it reminded me of a cheese and truffled honey I had at Otto once.  Very nice flavors, but the texture was disappointing.    The selection of flavors was varied and exciting,  which I like to see in a gelato shop.  Why do they serve it so cold??

At this point, Capogiro's still comes out the winner for me, with intensity of flavors, texture, variety, presentation and amount of choices all being amazing.  Even though GROM was good, they offered the "usual suspect" flavors, with only two or three that were a bit more adventurous, and there wasn't an abundant selection compared to Capogiro's.  I also didn't like that they keep it in lidded bins....I suppose this helps the temperature control, but I like to see what's available.  The metal bins made me think of soup.  Price point should be a little lower, $5.25 for a small (and noticeably smaller than Capogiro's which comes in at $4.50) is pushing it.

Otto's gelato has been the best for me in NYC so far, on par with Capogiro's... really amazing stuff!!!

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