Alright, I haven’t done much plugging here, but I’m encouraging you to visit La Divina Gelateria (3005 Magazine, near Washington).
I’ve now tried several of their flavors–all wonderful–and my current favorite is creme brulee (the chunks of burnt sugar really make it). The others I’ve had and loved are stracciatella, mint stracciatella, pistachio, and cookies. We have some pretty good treat selections in town now, but you need to make this place a part of your circuit.
These fine folks on the left are old friends of mine, Carmelo and Katrina Turillo, with their son Nicco. They’re some of the nicest folks you’ll ever meet, and I’m thrilled to see them launching their new business in New Orleans. I met them in grad school at Tulane (no Nicco at that point), when they were some of the main forces behind the Mystic Krewe of Spermes. After Carmelo got his PhD, they moved to Madrid where he taught and did a stupendous job hosting us on a visit.
They missed New Orleans though, and, they returned with the dream of opening a true gelateria. They remained undaunted by the tragic coincidence of Katrina’s name, so these are real boosters of the city. You need to visit for a lot of reasons, and one of the main reasons is that these are good people who love the city and deserve our business; they’re the kind of business owners and citizens we all want here in New Orleans.
But I’m here to tell you that you’re sacrificing nothing in giving them your business. They make everything in the place from scratch, which you can imagine is highly involved and unusual. The gelato is unbelievable, and they have more flavors than you would expect from a new family-owned establishment. Carmelo showed me the guts of the operation and explained the process, which was fascinating. (the machine that heats the mixture is named Purgatorio, the fridge where they age is called Dante, and so on) One thing that makes the place different is that they make each recipe completely differently, rather than from a base, like a lot of places would do. Even their recipes are written in Italian!
These folks also take their coffee seriously. I’m a tea man myself, and I had a terrific Assam there (lots of other premium teas to try, so maybe something that sounds more Italian would be in order), served with a sand timer to tell me when to plunge & pour. But their espresso looked different from what I’ve seen before, perhaps because of the gorgeous glasses they’re served in. With free wi-fi and some high-level brews, this could be a nice coffee shop hangout for you too.
La Divina also has a selection of fresh panini and salads. I had the verdura, which was outstanding, with fresh mozzarella and grilled vegetables with a little basil. On the side was a garbanzo salad that knocked my socks off. They also have sandwiches with LA crawfish, pancetta, tuna, and so on, and they all look great.
In fact, the whole place if beautiful and classy; they’ve gone all out. Yeah, I’m biased and want to support my friends (this is not a sponsored post), but I promise you’ll be impressed with the attention to detail and the tasteful decor.
Again, you’ll be treating yourself and contributing to the revitalization of the city. Give La Divina and the Turillos your support! Grazie!