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The editors of Chow.com look at food and drink across New York City's five delicious boroughs.

Chow: Chelsea Gelato Shop Has Authentic Italian Feel, Taste

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When Francesco Realmuto couldn't find good gelato in New York City that reminded him of the kind he grew up on in Italy, he decided to open his own shop: L'Arte del Gelato. CHOW.com Contributing Editor Liza de Guia filed the following report.

When the subways start to feel like saunas and the dormant street odors come back to life, it means summertime is here in NYC. Now you can cool off with L’Arte del Gelato, the best gelato in the city.

Francesco Realmuto, the co-founder, is an Italian man with a charming smile. He spent 12 years as a diamond cutter in New York City before deciding to devote his life to making gelato.

In 2006, after six months of training with gelato masters in Italy, he launched L’Arte del Gelato with his partner Salvatore Potestio. The two develop recipes out of their basement laboratory in Chelsea Market.

Gelato is the Italian name for ice cream but it differs in a number of ways from the stuff we grew up on. It’s denser, more intense in flavor and, actually, contains less fat than normal ice cream.

Realmuto’s flavors are so intense, they wake your senses. Every bite is so concentrated you just get lost in it.

Their secret? Special gelato machines from Northern Italy, simple and fresh ingredients from local markets and high quality milk sourced from Battenkill Creamery in Upstate New York.

Of the 57 rotating flavors, Realmuto will tell you he’s proudest of his chocolate gelato, which uses fine French chocolates and took him five years to perfect.

His full-bodied and bright olive oil gelato is another great pick. It leaves a film of fruity, delicate, slightly salty oil on your lips. In the summer, it could be paired with fresh seasonal flavors such as peach or strawberry. You’ll taste the silkiness in every bite, giving you a whole new outlook on summer.

L’Arte del Gelato has two locations, Chelsea Market and 75 7th Avenue in the West Village.

For more dining recommendations visit CHOW.com.

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