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New Gelato in Little Italy, San Diego: Pappa Lecco


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New Gelato in Little Italy, San Diego: Pappa Lecco

kimxchris | May 8, 2007 11:51 PM

With all the people that have been in during the first ten days of business, I'm surprised that I need to be the first to post a recommendation for this "gelato lounge", as it calls itself. It's at the corner of State and Cedar, a few blocks away from Extraordinary Desserts, just a bit outside of Little Italy (1602 State St, 619.238.4590). We were there for the fourth day in a row tonight.

So far we've had:
The Tramonto (fruits, prosciutto, greens)
The Piatto del Poeta (greens, smoked salmon, shrimp, cucumber)
Nonno Amedeo's salad (greens, meats)
The Contadino (cheeses, pears, carrots, walnuts, greens)
single espresso
an affogato with chocolate ice cream
the scecherato
gelatos: chocolate, vanilla, hazelnut, coconut, caramel, bacio, stracciatella, the house "pappa lecco" (chocolate, chocolate chips, amaretto, biscotti pieces)

We recommend all of these. Not being espresso aficionados we can't offer a very informed opinion. They use Danesi, but you can see the care that the owner Francesco and his brother put into every drink and food item they prepare (with a third brother, their three other shops are all in Pisa). The scecherato was beautiful and wonderful, perfect really (I'm using what seems to be Google's preferred spelling--a double espresso, sweetened, iced and shaken vigorously, served in a martini glass).

I can't say that this is the best gelato I've ever tasted, maybe not even the best in San Diego (I've always recommended nearby Caffe Italia, which lacks the flavors, hours and charm of Pappa Lecco, but I haven't been in in a while), but I might grow to change my mind. It's hard not to fall in love with the place upon first entering, and with Francesco himself, particularly if one is female. During our visits, at least ten people must have been making return trips with friends in tow, and this in the first ten days of business, many speaking Italian with Francesco and his staff.

The best part though, the thing that makes it into the pantheon of tastes I will always remember, is the special gelato served with some of the cold plates. Orange/carrot/basil. If Francesco ever needs business, he need only walk around town with a container and some spoons, handing out tastes. It was only served to us on our first trip, not the subsequent two (we didn't ask), so ask first so you're not disappointed.

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