I think I’m an anomaly.  I crave ice cream in the winter.  Well, I pretty much crave it year round, but there is something about my increased sugar intake in the winter and the holidays that lends itself to ice cream consumption.

Yes. Please. Now.

That being said, I must admit that I’m torn between all the great local ice cream shops here in Louisville.  I have a new place to add to your rotation and it’s not technically ice cream – it’s gelato – and it’s found at Gelato Gilberto.  Every time I eat gelato I think about an Italian vacation where we drank wine at every meal and, yes, had gelato twice a day.  Aaahh, the decadence.  Going to Gelato Gilberto in Norton Commons is the closest thing to that trip I can get.  Gelato is made primarily with milk, instead of cream, and is kept at a warmer temperature than American ice cream.  This produces more intense flavors and a softer product.

Gelato Gilberto in Norton Commons

The proprietors, Kristin and Justin Gilbert are not Italian but they did what the rest of us talk about but are scared to do — they took their two girls and moved to Italy for three years.  They wanted to learn the gelato business, and they most certainly did.  Justin actually took classes at Carpigiani’s Gelato University in Bologna (yes, a university dedicated to gelato).

Pictures of the Gilbert girls in their Italian school smocks.

When they came back to the United States, they hit the town with their gelato cart.  I was lucky enough to see that gelato cart at the Derby party I was at this year with a certain Martha Stewart.  Martha sampled their gelato and she loved it.  I dare say if it’s good enough for Martha, it’s good enough for the rest of us.

Now you know the background story on the place that Southern Living selected as the “#1 Spot for Cool Treats.”

With such accolades, I decided to research their flavors… you know, do some basic investigative work.  I took my team of experts  – all under 5 feet tall with missing teeth – who were super excited to get fancy ice cream after school.

Kristin showed us the inner workings and gave us a valuable tutorial of the gelateria.  All gelato is made from scratch, using fresh dairy products instead of using a pre-made base.  The flavors are created with premium ingredients such as cage-free eggs, fresh seasonal produce and even pistachio paste from the town of Bronte in Sicily (the best place to get pistachios).  Kristin says that they have “spent years in Italy researching the best methods for making gelato and the most delicious flavors.  To date we have visited gelaterie in over 20 Italian cities and we’re not done yet! We’ve put a lot of thought into your gelato!”  It shows!

Making the base for all chocolate gelatos

We called this the “treat cabinet.”

The adult treat cabinet.

The tasting team rolled up their sleeves (ahem, school uniforms) and got to work.  There are always between 20-24 flavors of gelato available with two or three fat-free, dairy-free sorbetto as well.

Reach for the stars, Michael!

A distinguished palette begins the tasting.

Deep in thought…

Best after-school snack ever.

They have fantastic holiday flavors right now:

Flavor: Hot Chocolate

Candy Cane: No fake pink peppermint ice cream here. Made with organic peppermint oil with crushed candy canes on the top.

 And three more flavors not pictured:

  • Bourbon Egg Nog
  • Gingerbread
  • Peppermint Bark

We got medium cups and you can get AS MANY TASTES in one cup as you want.  I was monogamous to Pistachio.  I had to see what a real pistachio from Sicily tasted like!

Pistachio gelato with imported Sicilian pistachios.

I double dog dare you to get Il Babbo.

Gelato is a great gift idea for the holidays, whether it be pints or pies.

Gelato pies are made to order.  They are $17.95 and require 24 hour notice.  Pies are $19.95 if made with recipe requiring alcohol, like bourbon or tequila.

On Monday’s Happenings Post, I wrote about Gelato Gilberto’s great Christmas gift special, Gelato of the Month membership, with a new pint being delivered to you once a month for $99.95.  Justin has created this beautiful print on Japanese Rice paper to guide you through your year of gelato.  Click here to read more on the flavors.  Each symbol corresponds to a certain monthly flavor.  For more information on purchasing this great gift, click here.

Beautiful print that accompanies your membership into the club.

 They have other treats besides gelato, namely regular filter coffee and crepes.  Crepes are made from scratch using Julia Child’s recipe and can be filled with nutella, bananas, lemon and sugar and dulce de leche.

Coffee drinks

StyleBlueprint is very committed to local businesses.  Kristin and Justin are the embodiment of the local business mentality.  They literally live over their gelateria in Norton Commons.  They are passionate about making the best product and it shows.  We would like to offer a special deal for Gelato Gilberto.

Click here for our StyleBlueprint Deal: Pay just $5 for $10 worth of gelato!

We’ll be back for more soon!

Gelato Gilberto is located in Norton Commons at 9434 Norton Commons Road.  You can reach them by calling 503-423-7751 or by emailing at [email protected].