I come to you today to speak of that greatly ignored piece of the cheap eating universe: dessert. Rarely indeed do chroniclers of cheap eating pay attention to this category; my guess is it’s a budget-buster for many. And that’s fair, I suppose, but there are too many delicious desserts in NYC to ignore, and they need not destroy one’s financial solvency.
So, about this Ciao Bella Sorbet. My girlfriend and I had noshed on banh mi from Banh Mi So 1 (Broome St. btw. Mott/Elizabeth) while sitting across from the church on Mulberry St. She had earlier brought home some of said sorbet but had consumed it in concert with a friend before I’d gotten to have a taste, and we’d agreed to do a dessert doubleheader with Rice to Riches coming second. This was in large part because I didn’t think it was possible to have a fulfilling sorbet experience (I suppose I had forgotten how good the homemade raspberry sorbet Will made a few years back was).
I was most certainly and fantastically wrong, though: Ciao Bella’s chocolate sorbet was absolutely out-of-this-world amazing.
I couldn’t imagine how it didn’t involve cream somehow, but the proprietors (who were, by the way, stoned to the bejeezus belt, as I’m sure I would be with that job) assured me that the concoction was dairy-free. I’ve been informed that the Ciao Bella website says that the Chocolate and Coconut flavors contain milk. Oops. The sorbet had amazing texture (can’t say creamy, I guess), and had a strong but not-too-sweet cocoa flavor. I’d be interested to know what kind of cocoa they use to make the sorbet…I’d guess a very dark variety.
Now, the tough part. You’ve got to have company to really make this work, budgetarily. The “small” serving size is a whopping $4.75, but this was plenty enough for both of us, the dish was dwarfed by the serving, to be sure. A hand-packed pint costs a buck more and is probably a better deal, but get it home quickly.