Dreams of Gelato
It is often said that a person’s favorite flavor is telling of their personality.
But what if flavor choice was less about personality and more about personal history and comfort? While most people are happy to try a fun, new flavor, usually their inner child comes out, and they choose their lifelong go-to time and time again.
That’s where the heart-felt stories are hidden – in our taste buds. My mom always gave me vanilla ice cream when I had a bad day. My grandfather loved mint chocolate chip. I watch romantic comedies while eating chocolate to cheer up. Undeniably so, taste is tied to memory, and Sant Ambroeus’s gelateria is a place where the classic flavors we all know and cherish remind us there is no better way to turn back time than with a sweet treat.
In March 2021, the Sant Ambroeus gelateria opened in New York City’s bustling and fashion-centric Soho neighborhood just in time for spring and summer. Inside, you’ll find a beautiful display case filled with gelato and sorbet, along with Sant Ambroeus’s signature coffee bar and pasticceria features.
Chris Hereghty, the Executive Pastry Chef at Sant Ambroeus, beamed with excitement as he spoke about our newest venture. “It’s a total experience. For me, we have hands down the best gelato in the city, and the architecture of the place is extraordinary. I’ve honestly never seen anything like it,” Chris says.
Studio McKinley’s Robert McKinley designed the one-of-a-kind space: custom appliances and elegant materials, as well as forms and colors that allude to the fluidity and playfulness of the desserts and gelatos served. As we know so well, ambiance and service add to the culinary experience, amplifying the perfected tastes.
Chris adds, “Our staff has a unique style of service.
They are truly engaged with the customers, combining the brand’s impeccable taste with an outgoingness that you hardly see anywhere else. It’s the same level of familiarity you would find at a coffee bar in Milan where the barista knows you – it’s the essence of true Italian hospitality.”
Anyone who has ever tasted gelato knows that it’s a world apart from ice cream.
There are stark differences in the taste, texture, and softness – the secret lies in the creation process. Chris explains, “Gelato is a lower fat version of ice cream, using more low-fat milk than cream. Also, gelato machines turn much slower than ice cream machines, which means they incorporate less air and make the final product denser, smoother, and more flavorful.”
The world of gelato and sorbet is no new feat for us. Since the 1940s in Milan, Sant Ambroeus has been serving these timeless desserts. As per tradition, everything at the gelateria is handmade on-site with top-notch, fresh ingredients.
In all, there are 16 flavors, including sorbets, which can be served in a handcrafted waffle cone or cup. Chris shares, “The most popular flavors are the classics: chocolate, mint chocolate chip, vanilla, stracciatella, and pistacchio. Also at the top of the list is our Sant Ambroeus flavor, which tastes like a vanilla sponge cake with a hint of raspberry.
When creating it, we tried to imagine a child’s dream.” He continues, “We also have vegan chocolate and crema options.” Sophisticated toppings, such as nocciola praline, orange confit, and salted caramel hazelnuts, can add a gourmet touch to the beloved flavors.
For dessert aficionados, the different coppe (sundae-esque) combinations will have you basking in sweet goodness. Take the Paradiso, which combines Sant Ambroeus gelato, strawberries, English cream, fresh whipped cream, and shaved milk chocolate, or the Milano, with Sant Ambroeus and panettone gelato, raspberry sorbet, and panettone. It’s a justified indulgence and a spectacular way to reward oneself for any occasion.
In Italian culture, going to the gelateria is an excuse to go out and catch up with loved ones. Chris says, “Gelato is like coffee – they’re both engrained into the Italian DNA. It’s normal to get a gelato, walk around, and talk with your friends or family.
I’d say that it’s a social activity there, especially for young people.” In New York, like other great metropolises, everywhere you look, people are buzzing around the city, meeting up, and finding moments to connect despite the busyness. For us, we believe the Sant Ambroeus gelateria provides a vibrant and comfortable space for New Yorkers, from children to adults, to enjoy an unparalleled delectable treat.