Sweet Venezia and Chill Out Gelato cafe open in CenPho

By Michele Laudig

After a jaunt to the downtown farmer's market on Saturday morning, I decided to join a couple of friends for breakfast at the new-ish Maizie's Cafe & Bistro (after stashing my veggies in my fridge at home, of course). It turned out to be a worthwhile destination, not only for the food, but also for the new discovery two doors down: Sweet Venezia.

Sylvio Martins scoops up 24 different gelato flavors, including triple dark chocolate, mascarpone caramel, pistachio, and caramel brandy fudge.

Siderno Italian Bakery (at 51st Ave and Van Buren) includes scones, pastries, and cannoli, and there are hot and cold tea and coffee drinks. There are several tables in the space, and free wi-fi to boot. A welcome new hangout!

When I met up with my pals at breakfast and mentioned Sweet Venezia, they said they'd noticed a "coming soon" sign in the window at a space in the Artisan Lofts retail row, on Roosevelt. Well, now Phoenix's newest gelato shop is open.

It's called Chill Out Gelato Cafe, and when I stopped by, I learned it had just opened on Monday. Amineh Dararmani, one of the owners, said it's a soft opening, with a grand opening next week.

How soft, you ask? They just got their phone number yesterday.

Anyway, it's a cute little place -- more of a pitstop than a place to linger. If you've ever been to Tammie Coe's pint-sized bakery a couple doors over, you know what I mean.

Chill Out currently offers 18 flavors, including panna cotta, golden rum raisin, hazelnut, and mango. Tea and shakes are on the menu, and pastries will soon be offered as well.

Here's the lowdown on both places:

Sweet Venezia, 4750 N. Central, is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday. Call 602-274-0067 for info.

Chill Out Gelato Cafe, 610 E. Roosevelt, is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and will be open later for First Fridays. Call 602-254-6387 for details.

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