The Journal News Ice Cream Odyssey: La Tulipe in Mt. Kisco

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Hi, Katherine Curry, back with some very important ice cream-related information!

If you care about great ice cream (or gelato,  in this case), get yourself to La Tulipe in Mt. Kisco as soon as possible.  Seriously, don’t delay. The gelato is available year-round in containers, but the scoops are only offered from mid-May through late October.  And after your first visit, you’ll want to return frequently so you can try as many flavors as possible.  Here’s a close-up of the raspberry sorbet (it’s in one of the cute gelato kids’ cups La Tulipe sells for an additional charge — I got one for my ice-cream loving daughter).

This tiny European pastry shop, tucked away in a little house on Lexington Avenue,  is famous for its gorgeous cakes and confections, but the lesser-known frozen desserts are just as incredible.  The gelato and sorbet are made in-house from organic milk and eggs and, whenever possible, organic fruit.

Gelato comes in flavors like rich pistachio, mint chocolate, and intense vanilla.  For summer, the fruit sorbets are irresistible – strawberry has a hint of local lavender, blood orange is bright in color and flavor.

Co-owner Frances Steenman was inspired to start making gelato once her children reached ice-cream-eating age.  She wasn’t a fan of all the kiddie-oriented ice cream she found, with its artificial colors and flavors, and knew her husband, co-owner Maarten Steenman, could do better.

Indeed he has.  Made fresh throughout the week, the gelato and sorbet flavors change daily  – sixteen are available at any given time.  During my most recent visit, flavors included white peach sorbet, made with local peaches; lime sorbet, which was laced with cool fresh basil; and excellent espresso gelato.

On a hot July day, I got a cup of raspberry sorbet to go. The texture was so creamy it was hard to believe it didn’t have milk in it, and the flavor was pure raspberry, summer fruit distilled to its essence.  Or, to put it more bluntly, when the sorbet was gone, I found myself licking the inside of the cup.

When I want truly great gelato, I used to have to trek into Manhattan to one of the outposts of Grom, an artisanal Italian gelato company that makes the best gelato I’ve ever eaten.   Thanks to La Tulipe, now I can save myself a trip.  I wish they were open longer or later, but I’ll work around those hours — it’s worth it.

If You Go: 455 Lexington Ave., Mt. Kisco.  914-242-4555.  7:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., Tues. – Sat.  8 a.m. – 2 p.m., Sunday.

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