This Sicilian pasticceria and gelateria is justly popular. Don’t let the bright colors of the cassata draw your eye from the real scene-stealers, the gelato and granite. Pastry chef and owner Toni Cafarelli isn’t afraid to experiment. While the majority of the flavors are familiar, you may stumble across Ricotta with Beet or a bright blue gelato flavored with anise and a type of algae which is responsible for the smurf like color. This is a talented chef, who knows how to pull it off, he has won numerous awards and competitions. His Crema Agrumi di Sicilia is one of the award winners, and justly so, it has a delicate milk base (made light by the lack of cream) enhanced with the subtle aromas of orange peel. This guy knows flavor, and he pushes them to the extreme. Unfortunately a chocolate gelato is nearly overcome by the flavors of the alcohol; but the Greek Yogurt, with Cinnamon and Walnut tastes tangy and is full of cinnamon’s heat and spice. Flavors reach their peak with the intense pure flavors of Sicilian pistachios or almonds and seasonal fruit granite. This is easily the best granita in town, and in summer he has a number of flavors to choose from. Make sure to try the intense Almond, full of sweet ground nuts and pure flavor.
On the savory side, Il Re Gelato also makes wonderful arrancini, the typical Sicilian street food. Bite into a large pyramid of creamy risotto, fried until crisp on the outside, and infused with soft mozzarella and a suggestion of tomato sauce within.
Get it!: Coffee and Almond Granita
Signature Flavors: Almond Granita, Fior di Sicilia (fior di latte with orange peel)
When in Season: Granita di Mora (blackberry slush)
TIP: Try an icy granite with a scoop of gelato.
Via Fillipo Strozzi 8/r, Firenze. www.ilregelato.it; tel: 055 495939.