The Scrogue's Guide to Denver and the DNC: gelato

So. You had a great dinner. Or you’re out relaxing and enjoying the evening. Or maybe you read this post and promised yourself to seek out something cold and obscenely creamy. One way or another, though, it’s time for dessert.

How about some gelato? If you aren’t familiar with gelato, it’s Italy’s version of ice cream. And it’s like ice cream, except it has about half the fat and twice the flavor. Not sure exactly how they do that, but there it is.

We’ll start with the place that’s going to be closest at hand – Gelazzi. Since it’s located at 1411 Larimer, conventioneers will probably wander past it once or twice a day. By all means, wander in, because the gelato is wonderful.

Now, let’s talk about the best dessert experience in town. Head down to North Cherry Creek – specifically, to 250 Detroit St. – and Gelato d’Italia. Depending on traffic it’s a five-minute cab ride from the DNC venues. I said the best in town – can’t say this is the best gelato I’ve ever had in the world because there’s this place in Florence, right on the bank of the Arno, that’s probably better. But Gelato d’Italia makes the best gelato I’ve had anywhere in the US. I wish I were a better food critic, because this place deserves some words to match its flavors. All I can do is ask you to trust me. I’ve taken visitors and friends there before and not one has left less than ecstatic.

Gelato d’Itali serves up a wide range of choices, including traditional Italian flavors like Stracciatella, Spumoni and Nociola. I’m biased, probably, but for me nothing – nothing – tops the dark chocolate (although the dark chocolate raspberry comes close). They also serve up a variety of sorbetto flavors.

You can enjoy your dessert inside (they have a few small tables), outside on the patio, or while wandering around Cherry Creek, our trendiest of shopping districts.

They also supply gelato for a number of other restaurants around the Metro area (I saw the list on my last trip and it has to be a couple dozen places or more), including Parisi (which we’ll be talking about in the upcoming Pizza and Italian review).

One last place. If you’re up in Boulder, make the time for Gelato Bacio. Since they’re at 1021 Pearl St. (that’s west of the mall), they not only afford you the chance for a great dessert, but the late-summer Boulder ambiance and general people-watching opportunities are unmatched. I don’t think they’re quite in Gelato d’Italia’s league, but my wife believes they’ve mastered the texture of the genuine Italian stuff. She’s a stickler when it comes to all things Italian, so that’s a pretty solid recommendation.

There you go, folks. Real progressives appreciate the simple pleasures, and not much here in the 5280 is more pleasurable than a waffle cone on a warm August evening.

And if any of you locals are reading, feel free to jump in with your own suggestions and reviews.

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