05 Jun2005

Just when you thought I had turned cultural… at the MOMA, I finished a agelatovery satisfying visit by heading out to the likewise modernized sculpture garden and as I settled down on a very retro 60’s wire chair (think garden chairs in your parents backyard in Manila in the 1960’s), I spied a very modern stainless steel cart and white umbrella that was selling… one of my favorite boutique ice cream and sorbet brands: Il Laboratorio del Gelato. Yum. At a whopping $4.50 for a generous cup, this is the priciest cup of chocolate ice cream I have ever purchased (mind you, the location was super-prime). I first tried Il Laboratorio about 18 months ago when on another trip to New York I was down in the lower east side stocking up on underwear and socks from my wholesale source and I saw this very chi-chi storefront for ice cream…

Inside, I met the owner who had just opened his store and was only beginning to get serious press coverage for his wonderful ice creams and sorbets. The brand is owned by Jon Snyder, who earlier started and sold the Ciao Bella ice cream brand to go to graduate school, then worked as an investment banker, then gave that up and started Il Laboratorio del Gelato. He has only 12 flavors on offer on any given day, but a roster of about 100 flavors overall (and still experimenting). They make ice cream in tiny batches and rotate flavors as they are most in season. They have started to supply restaurants and some gourmet shops such as Grace’s Marketplace on the Upper East side. Flavors range from superbly executed chocolate that is dark, flavorful, creamy and delicious to ginger, plum, hazelnut and mango. If you like ice cream, make sure to try some of the flavors of Il Laboratorio del Gelato the next time you are in New York. What a treat!



  1. carol says:

    In Manila, good gelato can be had at Pagliacci at Podium and Pazzo at Powerplant & Glorietta. But another must try is the gelato at Amici in Don Bosco Makati, a little Italian restaurant run by an Italian priest. Yummy flavors at half the price (P35 per scoop!) of the first ones I mentioned. Available for take out in styro bricks bricks @ P300. I heard it’s also available at Waltermart across the street.

    Jun 7, 2005 | 7:31 am


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  3. Marketman says:

    I have tasted the gelatos you mentioned, specially don Amici and they are indeed great value. But I suspect all or most come from ready to make mixes for the restaurant industry and their flavors are commercial in nature. Nevertheless, they are a good alternative in Manila for variety. Il Laboratorio gelato is just superb, though I will be the first to admit…pricey.

    Jun 7, 2005 | 4:44 pm

  4. Michael says:

    I spent a summer in Rome and Italian friends would bring me to what they claim is the best gelateria in town. It’s a different shop everytime. Well, not being a gelato expert, I found them all to be very good. They were all better than the stuff we used to churn out using our trusty old hand cranked garapiñera. I’ll make it a point to visit Il Laboratorio del Gelato before summer officially ends.

    Aug 28, 2005 | 6:40 pm


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