There are enough new places to get a scoop or three that I thought the subject warranted a round-up. I’m listing them here with a few descriptive and informative details. I’ve visited some but not all of them. Since this isn’t a review, that shouldn’t matter. Besides, when it comes to ice cream and gelato, individual tastes and preferences rule. I say indulge in what you love. That’s what I do. And given how serious and dedicated each of these dessert entrepreneurs is, I feel confident that every spot on the list is worth at least a try and likely multiple visits. If you’ve been, tell the rest of us what you got and what you liked. The information (here, and from those who add their comments) is sure to make the last few weeks of summer extra sweet.
photo by Barney Taxel, Taxel Image Group
-Ohio City Ice Cream Company (formerly Dari Delite), mentioned in the July issue of Cleveland Magazine, is in its second season. People have been walking up to the window at this stand for more than 50 years. You can still get a swirl of regular vanilla soft serve but since Bob Mino and his wife Nancy took over, things have gotten noticeably more creative. They’re making egg custards; exotic fruit sorbets; and dense, rich ice cream, liberally studded with goodies such as chocolate covered pretzels, candied kiwi, dried strawberries and bits of baklava. The ricotta fig, fruit soaked in Gewurtztraminer, is pure genius. West 44th Street and Bridge
-Sweet Moses is a recreation of an old-fashioned soda fountain in the Gordon Square Arts District complete with restored wrought-iron chairs and a marble counter. The ice cream for sundaes, scoops, cones, floats, shakes, malts and phosphates is churned in-house. The waffle cones and hot fudge sauce come out of the same kitchen. Hand-packed pints are available for take-home. 6800 Detroit Ave.
-Rosso Gelato brings the look and taste of Italy to Rocky River. A modern minimalist interior is the backdrop for Charles Bartell’s traditional northern style gelato. The cooler usually holds a dozen different flavors. Crowd favorites are salted caramel, stracciatella (vanilla cream with ribbons of chocolate) and chocolate hazelnut. He also makes twelvee water-based, dairy free sorbettos. The most popular are nero (chocolate) and four-berry fruit of the forest. Staff will blast-freeze your pints, so they arrive home in perfect condition. It takes twenty minutes, so call ahead or be willing to wait. 19056 Old Detroit Road, Rocky River photo courtesy of Nancy Bartell
-The Sweet Spot, across from the Beck Center, describes itself as an American gelateria with a twist. Owner Celeste Blau kicked off her first season in July. She’s using Ohio milk, local seasonal fruit when she can get it, and mostly organic and natural ingredients. The Lineup includes some out-of-the-ordinary flavors like carrot cake, smoked s'mores and chocolate mint cayenne. 17806 Detroit Ave., Lakewood
-Lilly Handmade Chocolates is now making small-batch ice creams and sorbets, changing flavors, Amanda Montague tells me, as often as she changes her hair color. She and husband Josh expanded into the space next door this year, so you can sit down for dessert. Among the more unique options are beer floats and a "Choc-cuterie Board," a spread of sugared and decadent mousses, "pates," ganaches and frozen confections. 761 Starkweather Ave.
-Jeni’s, dipping and waffle cone stacking since April, this is an outpost of the Columbus-based company known for using Ohio cream and making a rich, super-premium product. Flavors take you on a trip around the world and into territory where ice cream has never gone before: Bangkok Peanut, Ugandan Vanilla Bean, Sweet Corn and Black Raspberries, and Goat Cheese with Red Cherries. Tables inside. 67 N. Main St., Chagrin Falls