May 23, 2019
Dolce Brooklyn Artisanal Gelato & Ice Cream, 305 Van Brunt Street, Red Hook. Why it made the cut: Being smoother than our softest baby blanket, and successfully achieving a perfect balance in flavors.
Of course, there had to be a gelato on this list. Soft and smooth, light and airy – as only gelato can be, their Fior di Latte was perfect. The Chocolate Orange was blended into a marriage as happy as Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas’ no doubt will be, with the orange slipping in only at the end of each bite. Think those chocolate-covered oranges your parents used to get you during Christmas. This is best eaten while walking down Van Brunt Street, sunglasses over your eyes and Beach Boys in your ears, as it pairs perfectly with summer sun and a light breeze.
The Best Vendors of the Day Award goes to the two young women at Dolce Brooklyn, a tiny cart trucked in from the Red Hook parlor with two flavors of gelato, two of sorbetto—the Serious Chocolate and Mint Cucumber Lemon were both good—all scooped with exactly the amount of joy you want from an ice cream vendor on a sunny day at the beach.
By Margot Boyer-Dry and Tejal Rao - July 5, 2018
The attendees each Second Sunday are all ages, and the kids there will have as much fun (or more) than the grown-ups who brought them. In the courtyard, watch them traipse through the garden and poke into an airstream that turns into a star-viewing station after dark, telescope and all. Until then, post up with a drink from the garden bar or some gelato sold on-site by the neighborhood outpost Dolce Brooklyn.
The race has its own gelato. Before you get to the race, make a pit stop at Dolce Brooklyn, a gelato shop on Van Brunt Street selling the most unique flavor of the summer. “The family behind that is very big racing fans and is super excited for Formula E to be coming here,” says Hopper. To celebrate, they created a flavor of gelato using glycerine, the “so sustainable, you can drink it” fuel used to power the generators that charge Formula E cars. Cool!
By Rachel Safko| February 24, 2017
For Dolce Brooklyn, “it’s about appreciating core, essential flavors and an intensity that’s particular to gelato.”
It all started with Amarena gelato—dark Italian cherries mixed with fior di latte, a milky sweetened cream. Tasting it one summer in Sardinia spurred Kristina Frantz to study traditional gelato-making in Bologna before opening Dolce Brooklyn with her husband in Red Hook.
As you might know, gelato isn’t just ice cream with an Italian name: it’s got significantly less fat than what we call ice cream since it’s made with more milk than cream. Gelato’s also churned at a much slower rate than ice cream, incorporating less air. The resulting density, silky texture and warmer serving temperature tends to make any added flavor pop on the palate.
Frantz takes a minimalist approach, letting just a few key ingredients shine—it’s her way of honoring the natural beauty of gelato and avoiding anything that competes with that. She takes inspiration from whatever’s available locally, like Persian dried limes from Sahadi’s or Tahitian vanilla beans first given to her by the owner of Grindhaus restaurant down the block.
Dolce’s flavors ebb and flow with the seasons: Frantz likes to scout out the farmers’ markets at Union Square and Borough Hall with her six-year-old daughter, and has done a white peach gelato in summer, or more recently a chocolate bourbon variety, using whiskey from the neighboring Van Brunt Stillhouse. “It’s about appreciating core, essential flavors and an intensity that’s particular to gelato,” Frantz tells me while I moon over her olive oil creation—nothing but pure Italian olive oil and a milky gelato base. She doesn’t really do toppings or mix-ins, beyond the traditional Amarena (with Toschi cherries) and a stracciatella, which she infuses with fresh mint and dark chocolate.
Go before the crowds come by ferry in summer, get yourself an affogato (espresso with fior di latte), and head over to Valentino Pier for a clear view of Lady Liberty.