Location: Midtown West (West 58th Street and Broadway)
What We Ordered: Hannah - Crema di Grom and Cioccolato fondente; Jon - Mint Chocolate Chip and Caramello al sale
It was a perfect day for a stroll through Central Park so we went to get ice cream at Grom off of Columbus Circle. We put the famous Italian gelato chain to the test. Hannah ordered the Crema di Grom (fancy name for egg cream with corn biscuits and Colombian “Teyuma” chocolate chips) and Cioccolato fondente (fancy name for dark chocolate), while Jon ordered a cup of Mint Chocolate Chip and Salted Caramel (or as Iggy Azalea would call it, Caramello al sale).
Hannah enjoyed the sweet corn and was pleasantly surprised by the chunks of corn biscuit in her Crema di Grom. It seemed like this was Grom’s signature flavor -- and for good reason. The texture of the ice cream was smooth, as it is gelato, and the flavor was fresh. The Cioccolato Fondente was a deep, rich chocolate (the Shaquille O’ Neal of ice cream if you will), but there was no flavor variation throughout the ice cream.
The Mint Chocolate Chip had a little bit of a kick to it -- not your typical milk diluted flavor. If you like your ice cream extra minty, you will not find any disappoint-MINT here. The Caramello al sale was your typical salted caramel. It was good, but didn't have anything special to make it stand out -- like season four of Arrested Development.
Grom had a moderate selection of flavors; about a dozen gelatos and a handful of sorbets. They pride themselves in using high-quality ingredients and fresh seasonal fruit. Be warned, the flavor names are all in Italian. You can make an attempt to say, "Cioccolato fondente," but the staff will accept, "that chocolate one," as well. While Grom only has two toppings to choose from, they make up for the lack of options with superb taste. Hannah's whipped (pronounced "hwipped") cream had a fluffiness and freshness that only exists in hand-whipped whipped cream. Jon got a deliciously sweet biscotti, which is something you rarely see as an ice cream topping option.
The store itself was rather bland and lacked in the creativity department. It had bare white walls and limited space, although the outdoor seating was a plus. The colorful menu gave off a fun vibe, but the dark wood and marble tabletops exuded sternness. It seemed to be stuck between American silliness and Italian sophistication, like the awkward stage of Comic Sans as it grows up to be Times New Roman. That being said, the staff was friendly and quick to offer up flavor suggestions.
This is the definition of a run-of-the-mill ice cream shop. The ice cream was good and did its job, but it didn't do anything to impress. The size of the serving was rather small with respect to how much it cost. They had a number of seasonal sorbets, which we did not get to try, and the fact that they so clearly laid out their ingredients for anyone with food intolerances was considerate. We recommend Grom if you're in an ice cream mood and you happen to pass by, but it's not a place to go out of your way for.