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Restaurants & Bars

[SEA] Comprehensive Gelato Comparison/Review

Evan | Aug 6, 200304:42 AM     12

Inspired by an earlier thread that asked what was the best gelato in the Pacific Northwest, I and my lovely dining companion embarked on a grueling mission: to sample all the gelato we could find in Seattle, to determine which was the best.

Our findings:

Bottega Italiana -- flavor all right but consistency wrong. I tried limone, mango, and vaniglia. Sorbetti were distinctly icy. Both gelati and sorbetti were too hard. No place to sit. Impressive selection of flavors.

Procopio -- flavor intense, which was good in some cases (mango) but a bit too strong in others (hazelnut). I tried mango/hazelnut/limone. Also too icy/hard, consistency not right. Good limone/mango. Lots of seating. Not a huge amount of flavors.

Gelatiamo -- flavor fantastic, consistency beautiful. Soft but not too soft; gelati incredibly smooth, sorbetti velvetty without even a hint of icy crunch. I had limone, riso, peche. Holy sweet lordy jesus, they were all fantastic. Limone nicely tart, like the real Italian deal. Riso sweet and creamy and buttery and rice-y in an extraordinarily pleasant way. Peche tastes like peaches OUGHT to taste. Excellent selection of flavors. Plenty of seating, although it can get crowded. Prices quite reasonable; better than the earlier two gelaterias, even though the quality is substantially better.

La Dolce Vita--I don't see a substantial difference between their offerings and standard American ice cream, except for some unusual flavors. I tried vaniglia, mango and pistachio. Vaniglia seemed slightly strong, pistachio seemed far too strong (to the point that it was difficult to eat), mango was an appealing flavor, but it didn't taste much like mango. Everything was too hard, consistency was wrong. They have some interesting flavors (mojito, blood orange) but lack a lot of classic Italian flavors. I would recommend the exotic flavors here over the classics, as they seem to be executed better, although mojito and blood orange had a bitter finish.

I and my gelato companion considered Gelatiamo to be far and away the best of the four. It was simultaneously the most authentic, had the best consistency, and had the most pleasant flavors of the lot.

I'd be curious to know what opinions other hounds have on these establishments...and if there are any other places in Seattle that I've missed, I'd very much like to hear about them.

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