Cool Gelato Italiano Is Scottsdale's Newest Sweet Secret

When a new spot opens in town, we can't wait to check it out -- and let you know our initial impressions while sharing a few photos and some menu items. First Taste, as the name implies, is not a full-blown review, but instead a peek inside restaurants that have just opened, sampling a few items and satisfying curiosities (yours and ours).

Restaurant: Cool Gelato Italiano Location: 7373 East Scottsdale Mall, Scottsdale Open: Three Weeks Eats: Gelato Price point: $3 - $6 per person

Last month, on Valentine's Day, Scottsdale got a little cooler with the opening of Cool Gelato Italiano, a new gelato shop tucked into the Scottsdale Mall (behind the Scottsdale Center for the Arts.) Even the local artwork hanging in its interior seems to harmonize with the area's scene of galleries and cultured neighbors like the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA.)

Courtesy of husband-and-wife team Alberto della Casa and Letizia de Lucia, who have spent portions of their food industry careers both in Italy and the United States and who now live in Phoenix, the new shop features the couple's artisanal Italian gelato recipes made with the help of one of Italy's top gelatieri, or gelato artisans.

Cool Gelato's menu features twenty varieties of the cool treat (don't call it ice cream) as well as sorbet made with fresh fruits, gelato sandwiches, and gelato affogato -- all made onsite daily, in small quantities, and using fresh and seasonal ingredients.

On the evening I visited, among flavors such as cherry bon, coconut, creme caramel, tiramisu, and biscotto (cookie), I chose a creation called Prince, made with milk and the always-hard-to-resist Nutella, the chocolate hazelnut spread made by the Italian company Ferrero (Italian gelato with the main ingredient from Italy -- what's not to love?).

It was very good. Luscious in fact. Dense yet creamy, fresh and sweet, with the flavor of Nutella at various levels of intensity depending on the bite.

Cool Gelato certainly isn't messing around when it comes to the quality of its product. Its unique taste and crazy-fresh flavors easily make this gelato shop stand out among the rest. And it's a great excuse for a post-cultural treat after a day of art gazing.

What do you think, Italian ice cream lovers? Have you been to Cool Gelato Italiano yet? What did you think?

Cool Gelato 7373 E. Scottsdale Mall, Scottsdale 480-941-3100 www.coolgelatoitaliano.com

Hours: Sunday through Thursday - 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday - 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.

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