As many of you know, Michele Laudig of the Phoenix New Times wrote an excellent article this week on Arlecchino Gelateria; it’s a must read. After reading the article myself, I immediately planned a visit to Arlecchino with my wife.
The shop is very quaint, with only a few stools to sit on and room for maybe ten people inside. The gelato immediately struck me as having a natural appearance. Other gelaterias that I’ve been to locally have really intense colors that look artificial. I ordered one of Arlecchino’s special creations, the Coppa Tre Cime ($9, above), which is chocolate, coffee, and pistachio gelato topped with roasted pine nuts, espresso, and shaved chocolate. It was purely a work of art in preparation and presentation. The chocolate and coffee gelatos had bold, exquisite flavors. The pistachio was more mild, but delicious nonetheless. The shaved chocolate, pine nuts, and espresso were all excellent quality. What a wonderful creation it was. The owner, Moreno, explained to me how he had used three different types of pistachios from Sicily, which he claims are the best that can be found. The chocolate is an elaborate mix of numerous types of premium dark chocolates, which is prepared daily by Moreno himself, as is every last bit of gelato at Arlecchino. In fact, his wife, Marina mentioned that her husband had not had a day off since they opened their shop nearly two years ago. Only he knows these precious recipes!
My wife got the Coppa Arlecchino ($7, above), which is three fruit flavors with Amarini Fabri, a wild cherry sauce. She chose Valentino, Mystico, and Cortina. The Valentino was a new creation of Moreno’s. It was pomegranate along with a couple other rare berries. It had an intense, tart flavor, but was well balanced with the sweetness. The wild cherry topping was extremely good. I didn’t get to try the other two flavors.
I’m no gelato aficionado, but I have visited various parts of Italy and tried some famous gelaterias there. I don’t know enough about gelato to say if Arlecchino’s is world-class or not, but it was easily the best gelato I’ve ever tasted. We’re very fortunate to have such a passionate chef preparing gelato for us here in the valley. Even though it’s a 30 minute drive, I will be returning regularly.
Note: The parking is a bit of a situation in this area. More than likely you’ll have to park on a side street and walk a little ways.
4410 N. 40th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85018
phone: (602) 955-2448
hours: M-Thu 3-10, F-Sat 11:30 -10:30, Sun 11:30-10
View photos and read more Phoenix restaurant reviews at: www.chowdownphoenix.com