Thursday, August 13, 2009

For the Love of La Divina

I've been in love with La Divina Gelateria for a good while now. It's no exaggeration to say that in the year or two immediately following Katrina, La Divina is what kept me from going 100% ape and demanding that we get the hell out of here NOW. OK, I did demand that a few times but I was in pain and was acting out. I didn't mean anything by it. Kid Cayenne held me down. La Divina gave me hope. We'd visit every Saturday or Sunday afternoon, just about all year long. I'd revel in whatever the newest seasonal flavors were. Kid Cayenne would stick with her favorite, Creme Brulee. I started to believe that if La Divina (with it's fresh, minimal, lovely interior, it's determination to use only truly quality ingredients and not take the easy way out, it's unsinkable, darling staff and owners) could exist in our dark, post-apocalyptic city, then some how, some way everything would be OK again eventually. And it was.

My affection grew miles deeper when, after a trip to San Francisco where I had the divine Salted Caramel ice cream at Bi-Rite Creamery, I begged Carmelo to please consider doing a gelato version. I knew they would do it well and I was having major cravings for it. He said he'd think about it. A few weeks later, I got an email saying that they had made it and to come try it out. Needless to say, their version was exceptional. I later learned that they had been planning it for a while, but I like to pretend it was all my idea. Makes me feel all fancy and such.

What can I say about La Divina's gelato? It's heaven. Truly. Totally artisanal, they make it entirely from scratch. It is delicate, refined, frosty and never icy, just the right amount of stretchy. The flavors are well balanced with a wonderful mix of seasonal and year round favorites. It's perfect. I've never been to Italy but when I have a spoonful of Grapefruit Campari melting on my tongue, I can imagine that I am there. Also to be adored are the perfectly made espresso drinks, my favorite being the mochas because, dear reader, they use Valrhona chocolate. Valrhona is queen of chocolates, very high quality and among the best in the world. This is a serious mocha. Deep, perfectly bittersweet, exquisite. *sigh* I am having a tiny fit thinking about it and might have to go over tonight and have one.

When Kid Cayenne and I were about to move to our new house, I lamented that we would be a little far from my beloved gelateria. A little far being 3.5 miles away as opposed to 1.5. Not to worry. Almost simultaneously timed, we bought our house and La Divina opened a Maple Street location. 1 mile, y'all. 1 tiny little mile away from our new home. I visited earlier this week, and while the new location is much smaller and not as well equipped, it's still got all the important things: decadently good gelatos and mighty fine coffees. One of these days, I'll get around to telling you about the salads and paninis...

La Divina Gelateria on Urbanspoon


Cold Spaghetti August 31, 2009 at 12:08 PM  

Yes, yes, yes, and YES! La Divina is a culinary treasure in our city.

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