Grom at 233 Bleecker and Carmine Village, is just a jog away from 6th Avenue. L'Arte del Gelato is at 75 Seventh Avenue, near Bleecker. I spotted these gelateria on a trip through the West Village last Wednesday and knew I had to find my way back to try their wares. All in the name of research, mind you.
First I hit Grom. I ate a salad for lunch and no breakfast so I was still a bit peckish at 3pm. I had no idea when I would be eating next, as I'd be taking a 6:20 PM train back home to Baltimore and wouldn't likely see food again until I got home at 9, so I justified my splurge. I tasted the apricot sorbet, hoping that the fruit had been cooked at some point since I am allergic to raw apricot. (I never claimed to be smart, especially not with ice cream staring me in the face.) It was very true to the fruit, and I opted for a small cup with both the apricot sorbet and some pistachio gelato. The pistachio was unlike any I've had in the past. Not only did it have that distinctive almondy flavor, it was full of crushed pistachios. Texture-wise it was unique, and flavor-wise was up with the best I've had.
As it was only about a block away, I skipped over to L'Arte and tried the cassata and the grapefruit-campari sorbet. The latter knocked my socks off with its sweet/bitter notes, so I had some of that with a pinch of the cassata. The cup was garnished with a sample of the mango sorbet, also very true to the fruit.
All of the flavors from both places had their merits. I especially liked Grom's pistachio and L'Arte's grapefruit. And it might have been piggish to eat four flavors of gelato in one afternoon, I realize that both servings combined don't measure up to one of Vaccaro's, size-wise, so I felt less-bad about it. Oh, who am I kidding - when do I feel bad about eating something that tastes so good?