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Frozen treats are on the mind now that the weather has turned following our endless winter. Gelato has dominated the cold-sweets market in New York City (related: why are there no good ice cream parlors in this city?), and one of the most recent additions to the West Village (a/k/a gelato central) is Love Gelato at 167 Seventh Avenue South (212-929-2870). And located just a few blocks south on Seventh is L’Arte del Gelato (75 Seventh Avenue South, 212-924-0803). Which only means one thing: Battle of the Seventh Avenue South Gelato!
Deciding what flavor to compare proved a challenge; both spots offered the general range of both cream/nut and fruity flavors. But pistachio is a flavor near and dear to our heart, and a good barometer of quality. If your pistachio gelato is neon green and not a dull beige-army green, you’re at a crap gelateria.
We began our quest at Love Gelato, a bright, open space with several café tables and lots of windows overlooking Seventh Avenue South. A cup was $4.50 and came with lovely plastic spoons that looked like silver from a distance. The gelato was a nice muddy green color, and the texture was rather airy and very smooth. Interestingly, the pistachio flavor wasn’t as pronounced and instead tasted much like a hazelnut-pistachio hybrid (did someone forget to clean the gelato machine?). But all in all, a great cup of gelato.
We then made our way to L’Arte del Gelato, a small storefront also on Seventh Avenue South. The cup was also priced at $4.50 and approximately the same size as the one at Love Gelato — this was turning out to be a proper duel. The seating isn’t as ample, with a single small table and a counter that seats two. This gelato was noticeably denser than the one at Love Gelato. We prefer a slightly airier gelato, but that’s a matter of personal preference. The main difference was the strong pistachio flavor emanating in each bite. While Love Gelato proved an overall nutty treat, this one exploded with pure pistachio flavor.
So who takes the glory, and who freezes in gelato hell?
Honestly, both options were tasty and this champion was tough to call. L’Arte del Gelato has a slight edge, however, because their pistachio flavor shone through more. But this is one of those battles where even the loser is still a winner.