When we heard another gelato parlor was opening, our first reaction was "Snore! Miami needs another frozen treat shop like Kevin Federline needs another child support payment." But then Gelato Nostro's rep swore to us the gelato was the real deal. Heck, she's Italian, too, so it would've been an insult to her heritage if she lied. A lot was on the line. We just had to try all 24 flavors to make a fair assessment.
Three-quarters of the way through this arduous process [yes, that would be sarcasm] we found ourselves lovestruck. Check out our favorite pick and other noteworthy contenders after the jump.
Our favorite flavor: Gelato Nostro
It wasn't an easy decision, but the fact that this signature flavor combined a decadently creamy vanilla base with a thick and tangy marachino cherry swirl and ribbons of crunchy, hardened chocolate was nearly more than we could bear. We had to smoke a cigarette and get a cuddle to recover properly.
Crowd Favorite: Strawberry
It may sound like a boring selection, but this seedless flavor is so real you may boycott the supermarkets' offerings forever. Not too sweet, but totally strawberrylicious.
Simple, Yet Stunning: Vanilla
Close your eyes when you sink those perky whites into a scoop of this stuff and you'll be transported to Tahiti. The vanilla flavor is unmistakable and unrelenting with its creamy texture and buttery tone.
Most Inspired: Zabagione and Caramelized Fig
Wine lovers, rejoice! The Zabagione is a Wonka-like dream, wherein the tongue gets treated to creme brûlée, ice cream, and a glass of Port simultaneously. But the caramelized fig is also unforgettable, featuring swirls of fig and creamy caramel.
Most Unusual: Kiwiana
Don't let it's pastel green color fool you. This kiwi-banana concoction delivers a powerful punch to the tastebuds, not unlike a SweetTart.
Also be sure to try the Zuppa Inglese if you like the taste of egg nog. Chocolate swirls and pieces of pound cake make it more than a scoop -- it's a meal. And don't freak when your pistachio scoop arrives brown. That is, after all, the color of the nut, not that neon green we grew up on.
A cone-full of nearly any of these flavors is bound to give any frozen treat lover a gelato-induced mouthgasm (yep, we're coining a new phrase), but when the scoopers pile on a mountain of fresh-made, complimentary whipped cream, this dessert goes over-the-top.
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For the record, we walked through the kitchen and saw that every component, except a handful of select fresh ingredients, came from Italy and were turned into chilly gold in the steely mouths of specialized Italian pasteurizing and freezing machines, like this one co-owner Oscar Piccolo is posing with.
The store, which is open until midnight each night, also has a cool Nespresso machine tucked behind a case of tasty empanadas and a cooler full of glorious single-serve and full-size cakes.
If you give the new Gelato Nostro at 1111 SW 1st Avenue a go, let us know which flavor is your favorite. Or better yet, invite us to tag along. We'll bring protection.