A notice at the cash register of the gelato place near our hotel warns that certain bills are not accepted. No, not the 20 franc note, not the 100 franc note -- not even the 200 franc note. The tiny neighborhood gelato place won't accept one THOUSAND franc notes. Heh.
Ok, now that that's out of the way, on to the gelato itself. How does it measure up to Pitango, our fave from Logan Circle / DC days?
I love the ananas-basilic (pineapple-basil) flavor that's so popular here, and Gelato Mania's permutation (the store is aptly named since during each of our two visits here we've had to wait at least 20 minutes in line) is well-executed. It's refreshing and not too "basil-y". Plus, I have a soft spot for basil flavors showing up in unexpected places, since the amazing caterers at our wedding served a surprise basil-flavored sorbet/gelato in between courses. In general the flavors seem a little more adventurous / non-traditional at Gelato Mania than those offered at Pitango. For example, last weekend when we went Gelato Mania had a "concombre-menthe" (cucumber-mint) flavor on offer. It was not being served this evening or I would have tried it. But I'm excited to try some of the other weird / unusual flavors. Gelato Mania - 1, Pitango - 0.
The "cafe" flavor I tried this evening was good but tasted more creamy than a typical gelato (which has less fat, less cream, and less air than ice cream). As a result, the coffee flavor was less intense than Pitango's "espresso" flavor. Pitango's espresso flavor remains my all-time favorite, because the flavors are so intense without being overly rich or overpowering. Gelato Mania - 0, Pitango - 2.
However, Gelato Mania gets an extra point because it was the PERFECT evening to get gelato and sit in the nearby plaza with its pretty fountain.
Total scores for the evening: Gelato Mania - 2, Pitango - 2.
I'll just have to keep sampling Gelato Mania's wares to figure this one out.