Café Gelato – Las Vegas, NV

Café Gelato (Ice Cream & Sweets)
@ Bellagio Las Vegas
3600 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, NV
1 888 987 6667

Café Gelato (Bellagio) on Urbanspoon

You’d think that in December in Las Vegas, one would probably avoid cold sweets, especially when we actually had snow in the city – a rare occurrence for Sin City. But after a lot of walking around in heated buildings, something cool was highly sought after. Café Gelato with its large glass display case showing an assortment of tantalizing gelato flavors, appeared like an oasis in the massive Bellagio hotel.

I have to admit, ice cream and gelato are probably my most favorite dessert. As bad as it is for you, I have a hard time controlling my cravings when it comes to this stuff. I even have a bad memory of attempting (and finishing) the legendary “4×4” at Baskin Robbins back in the day – which included four scoops and four toppings in one single serving. So I surprised myself by just asking for a single scoop ($4.75) of the refreshingly cool mango flavor.

For me, the balance of just how soft gelato is makes a big difference to me. Too soft and it reminds me of a slightly runny milkshake, too hard and its just ice cream. Thankfully Café Gelato had it down pat. Still solid enough that it wasn’t like soft serve ice cream, and a strong intense natural flavor that reminded me of the ripe mango fruits that I have eaten in places like southern India and Thailand this past year. Despite its appearance, the single serving cup was more than enough due to the richness and density of the gelato. Either that or I am slowing down in my ice treats consumption as I get older – there is no way I could even face that 4×4 today.

The Raspberry Brownie ($6.00) was pleasantly not overwhelmingly sweet as if often the case. Again, as with gelato, I am a bit fussy when it comes to how “thick” brownies are. Here, it was pretty good in terms of that contrast between the sticky moist goodness of the inside and the crumbly exterior. For those who don’t like their brownie way too sugary, this is a good option.

Being that it is Vegas and in one of the more expensive casino hotels, the price point was a big high. The small latte I had also went for a generous $5.50, making me think I should have gotten my caffeine fix at the better looking café across the hallway at Palio. But for those fortunate to have some winnings at the tables, I suppose it really doesn’t matter what you pay in this town.

Café Gelato (Bellagio) on Urbanspoon

Amato Gelato – Calgary, AB

Amato Gelato
2104 Kensington Road NW
Calgary, AB T2N 3R7
(403) 270-9733
Hours: variable, based on season. Open late.

“Something sweet signals to the body the end of the meal”. Whether this is hearsay or scientific research, in Western culture, this seems to apply more often than not. After a meal out, and not ready to call it a night yet, friends and I often find ourselves craving Dairy Queen (don’t ask!). However, DQ generally closes fairly early, so instead, we usually decide to head over to Amato Gelato.

Open late, Amato Gelato is a chain out of Vancouver that serves over 72 flavours of gelato, sorbet, and sorbetto at a time. They offer coffee/espresso (my memory fails me, but I believe they carry Illy), and sandwiches (which sit in a cooler for an undisclosed amount of time), but the reason for going is Gelato. Fresh made sits in a long feature cooler – take home gelato (Mario’s) is available in a side cooler with the most annoying alarm ever.

The fresh made Amato Gelato variety is actually quite good, especially for Calgary. A selection of classic, fruity, creamy, rich flavours, some with odd blends, there is generally something for everyone. Including some less than appealing flavours (durian!?). While they are quite expensive, they do let you sample their flavours until you find one you really like. Something i particularly appreciate when im craving new flavours, or just generally feeling indecisive. And the girls working the counter are eternally patient in providing samples, and offering suggestions. Just make sure you pay for your order before trying samples – they can’t get you your order until you have a receipt. That long lineup staring daggers at your back may not appreciate it either.

While Amato Gelato is pricey for what you get, they do have several things working for them. Good selection. Lots of seating. Open late. Great parking. This may not be the best deal in town, but when you need something lighter than a maldon sea salt chocolate torte, and it’s late, more often than not, Amato Gelato is the way to go.

Amato Gelato on Urbanspoon