Flurt. Eskimix. /eks/. Daydream. Red Cherry. Yoqua Bar. Yoberry. Yogurtberry. Berrywild. Do 95 percent of all new frozen yogurt shops have to have names that sound like crappy fragrances marketed towards tween girls? Admittedly, I'm no good at coming up with good names for anything—mostly pets ("I name thee Fluffypoobs,")—but I'm certain that with a name like Bucket-O-Gurt, my hypothetical frozen yogurt shop would stand out among the rest that are currently infesting New York City.
I think I reached the peak of my tolerance when I came across the frozen yogurt shop Daydream near Union Square. Daydream. While I'm sure there are people who have daydreams involving eating their way through mountains of frozen yogurt, all I want to do when I pass the cloud-lined interior is shoot a gelato-stuffed air cannon at the customers. And then maniacally laugh. And then quickly run away to evade arrest.
It's not that I think Daydream or the other aforementioned shops turn out a bad product (I assume they can't suck too much if they're competing against one another). I just can't stand that there are so many frozen yogurt shops with mostly shitty, trendy names, when I'd rather have more ice cream shops and gelaterias. (I tried to think of a better word than "shitty," but all I came up with was "poopy," which is kind of the same thing with less zing. Even worse would be, "It's excrementy." That's just...that doesn't make sense.)
I like the taste of yogurt, but mostly when it's rich and fatty, à la La Fermière (easily my most oft-purchased item when I was in Paris), Fage (easily my most oft-purchased yogurt in the USA), or Liberté (a new yogurt love introduced to me by Michele)—none of that low-fat, fiber-enhanced goop meant to regulate my troubled, womanly organs. It's the same with yogurt in frozen form: I'm not looking for low calorie or healthy. Otherwise, I'd eat an orange.
And that is why I went to L'Arte del Gelato twice in the past week. Although I didn't go with frozen yogurt in mind, I tried a sample of their yogurt with mixed berries, which, like the rest of their flavors, tasted amazingly awesome. Tart, rich, creamy, smooth, and not too sweet. I wouldn't get a frozen yogurt treat anywhere else. (Except maybe 40 Carrots, which I shamefully have yet to try.)
The main reason I wouldn't get a frozen yogurt treat from anywhere else though is because anywhere else I wouldn't be able to combine it with L'Arte del Gelato's other excellent gelato and sorbet flavors. Their grape sorbet fulfills the guidelines of sorbet awesomeness: It tastes just like the fruit it's supposed to, but even better and more pure. Imagine fresh, juicy grapes, including flecks of skin, in every spoonful, but in a smooth and melty form. I actually bought a bag of red grapes last night while riding my grape sorbet high.
Grape sorbet and pistachio gelato might be my new favorite combination. I wouldn't say that they really go together—I just want to be able to alternate between the two with every other bite. L'Arte's pistachio gelato is my favorite version in the city. Although Otto might make the best gelato overall, the last time I tried it their pistachio was alarmingly bland and lacking the nutty warmth and depth found in seemingly 99.99% of gelaterias in Italy. (Or maybe I just got lucky in Italy.)
As I usually go for a gelato/sorbet combination when I go to L'Arte to strike a balance between dairy and non-dairy, last Friday I got a cone of lemon-orange sorbet and hazelnut gelato. Lemon-orange wasn't too sweet, nor too tart, but just enough of both. Hazelnut was full of warm toasted nuttiness.
Ginger gelato and pear sorbet is another nice combination. Kathy got this last month after we ate at Blue 9 Burger. I like having friends who think nothing of walking from Union Square to the West Village in the cold to eat something that is frozen.
For no reason, another photo of gelato. I could keep going, but methinks you've seen enough.
If you haven't been to L'Arte del Gelato, I expect you to go there this weekend and report back to me about how awesome it is. And don't tell me you prefer Grom, because I won't even listen to you.
Also a stand in Chelsea Market, but I haven't been to that location in ages.