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Open for Business: L'Albero dei Gelati, 341 5th Avenue

Italian import L'Albero dei Gelati opened yesterday at 2 p.m. on Fifth Avenue between 4th and 5th Streets, in the space last occupied by El Sitio Borinquen. Not only do they offer a wide selection of creative gelati, there's also an expansive menu of baked goods, focaccia and ciabatta panini, cheese and salumi, breakfast and brunch items, tea and coffee, and beer and wine. Gelato and baked goods are all made in-house from scratch, and everything sold is in line with the Slow Food movement.

The northernmost half of the space is a kitchen with a walk-up gelato stand facing the sidewalk (smart), the southern half and rear of the space have display cases and two seating areas, and there's a spacious backyard with a fully functional garden and plenty of addition seating.

It's a charmingly appointed space, with some whimsical touches, exposed brick, chalkboard walls, and children's drawings on the walls.

Gelato is all made in house from ogranic, natural, and seasonal ingredients, in traditional varieties like blueberry, raspberry, straciatella, gianduia, peach, coffee, and pistachio, as well as some more out-there styles like licorice, yellow bell pepper, and blue cheese, which is most likely the most unique gelato in the city right now. I tried it, and it's seriously blue cheesy. It's sold in traditional small, medium, large, and child sizes, as well as in treats like the affogato

Walking up to the display case towards the back of the shop, it becomes apparent that there's a lot more than gelato here. There's homemade focaccia for sandwiches, pies and tarts like the torta Caprese, tiramisu, and cookies that are regional Italian specialities rarely seen stateside, with names like Assabese, Bacio di Dama, and Brisolona.

There's a display case full of local cheese and meats from Salumeria Biellese, and breakfast and brunch offerings including the traditional broiche tuppo pastry (in both sweet and savory applications) as well as several frittata options. There's also espresso, cappucino, scratch-made hot chocolate, wine, and beer.

The Lombardi-based mini-chain has a cult following in Italy, and owners Monia and Fabio Solighetto, a brother-and-sister-duo, have flown over to be on hand to make sure that the opening goes smoothly. The menu is about as authentically Italian as can be, even to the point that there are extensive explanations of their philosophy and descriptions of menu items atop each page. Looking over the menu, it's very clear that there's a major emphasis on fresh, seasonal, made-from-scratch food. There's even a monthly newsletter theyll be releasing to explain their history, philosophy, and newest offerings.

They'll be opening at 8 a.m. during the week and at 9 a.m during the weekends, and will be open until 11 p.m. nightly. Click through for the full menu.

L'Albero dei Gelati, 341 5th Avenue Brooklyn NY 11217. Phone: 718-788-2288.

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Reader Comments (18)

It's impressive looking! The speck alone will get me through the door.

July 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFelton

this place looks awesome! I can't wait to try!

July 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commenternormality

Tried it last night. The gelato is the best Ive had anywhere in the city, makes Caramello taste like Cacamello!

July 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBibao

We are most fortunate to have them here in Park Slope. Their gelato embodies dynamic and refined flavors, it's not just a saccharine rush. This is true craftsmanship. This place is amazing!

July 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTheodore

Excited about this place, too. I feel a little bad for Culture, though! Can't see how they won't lose a bit of business to this place.

July 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterj / nytechease

Can you get just a cup of gelato? I don't see just that on the menu, but it's small print and the link you have to their full menu isn't working.

July 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJust Shlopin v2

@Just Shlopin Yes, you can buy cups of gelato.

July 19, 2013 | Registered CommenterHere's Park Slope

Can't wait to try it out. Hopefully they will have more than one person staffing it (Carmello, every time I go in!) so I dont have to wait ten minutes.

July 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJim

Very excited to try this place out.

July 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBaDaBing

Also a place right near me that I have been looking forward to. Wanted to go this weekend but never made it. Going to try for today, love gelato and I think I am the only person around here not impressed by Carmello

July 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterParkSlopePerson

I live really close and have been twice since it's opening. Both times super impressed by my purchases (gelato and tuppo). It's also jam packed with actual Italians. (customers) This is a good sign.

July 23, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterk-rock

I tried it and it's phenomenal. Everything is, the food, the gelato the meats, the cheeses, the service, the space. It's probably one of the best places to open in Park Slope in years.

July 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRick

I am fortunate (unfortunate) enough to live on 4th St just around the corner, so a gelato addiction was eminent. The fact that their gelato skills are off-the-charts ridiculous thoroughly sealed the deal. So much for my low-carb diet...

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