“I don’t want gelato,” my son wailed recently. “I want ICE CREAM.” Little did he know how much better gelato is. After one bite of his Nutella gelato at Lighthouse Coffee and Ice Cream in Tarrytown, he was all smiles. Suddenly, he was asking if we could eat gelato “every day.”
Think of Lighthouse Ice Cream and Coffee, located at Tarrytown’s Hudson Harbor development, as the gateway to RiverWalk, a riverfront promenade along the Hudson. You can carry a cone down to the promenade, or reward yourself with one on the way out. Either way, here’s what you need to know: The gelato here is creamy and sweet –not at all like the dull gelato knockoffs you often eat in the States. It actually tastes like Italy.
All of the gelato here is homemade daily by owner Joe Slakas and his staff — you can watch them whip it up behind the counter. Slakas, who once worked in politics and public relations, used to make ice cream for his family in the summer. When he retired, his friends and family encouraged him to open his own ice cream shop, and he did, opening Lighthouse in 2011. His flavors are to die for: Vietnamese coffee gelato (my favorite), as well as Pistachio, Chili Chocolate and fresh fruit flavors. (I also love their fresh squeezed lemonade!)
Our other go to spot for gelato in the region is just over the border in Greenwich, Connecticut. We happened upon Daniella’s Gelateria while shopping along Greenwich Avenue one afternoon last spring. You know you’re getting real gelato when the staff is barking orders at each other in Italian. Daniella’s gets the cream and sweet factor just right, and the flavors, particularly the coconut gelato, will please even the doubters. There are about a dozen flavors to choose from: chocolate hazelnut, Nutella, strawberry. It’s hot inside this narrow space, so you may want to take your ice cream for a walk. There’s a park with plenty of green space across the way, perfect for a lazy summer afternoon spent licking a cone.
Lighthouse Ice Cream and Coffee, 127 West Main Street, Tarrytown; 914-502-0339
Daniella’s Gelateria, 315 Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich; 203-992-1030