At Gelato & Cioccolato in Cos Cob’s hub, authentic artisan Italian gelato and homemade chocolates are indeed essential.
“Here in Cos Cob we have a loyal customer base,” said owner Lucio Lozza, who has a business partner, Alessandro Uccelli. “Once people come and try the gelato they love it. We make it fresh daily using local organics as much as possible.”
In addition to gelato, the shop also offers cakes created by Louisa Magalhaes, who studied culinary arts in Brazil.
The cakes feature a sponge base and layers of gelato in different flavors.
“We put in cookies to give it crunch” Lucio said. “Then we glaze it on top with a special glaze from Italy for gelato cakes and decorate it with homemade chocolates.”
Typically the cakes are custom ordered, but there are usually a couple to choose from in the freezer up for grabs.
Lozza said cakes are delivered in cool boxes that keep the gelato cold for 20 minutes to a half hour, just enough for delivery to Greenwich, Cos Cob, and Riverside where the shops regular customers live.
The homemade chocolates are also popular. “We make our own chocolate,” Lucio said. “There are chocolates with pistachios and chocolates with almonds.”
Lucio said his business is operating with strict precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have no seating. It’s only take out with one person in the shop at a time,” he said. “We offer no contact delivery. We wear gloves all the time and sanitize constantly.”
“People can call for curbside takeout. You can pay over the phone and pull right up along the curb,” he said gesturing to the empty parking spots out front.
The fresh gelato, made daily on the premises following family recipes created in Italy, is prepared with a short list of ingredients, mixed in a gelato machine, deep frozen, and kept extremely cold.
Typically there are 16 flavors, though sometimes in the summer the shop switches over to smaller pans to offer more flavors.
“Every month we have different flavors,” Lucio said, adding that he enjoys experimenting to create new varieties, and has even incorporated Il Pandoro cake imported from Italy as a substitute for cookies.
Gelato & Cioccolato opened in Cos Cob two years ago, and Lucio, who hails from Italy, said he loves how Cos Cob’s hub feels like a small European village.
In February an outpost of Gelato & Cioccolato was created at SoNo Collection, which opened in October 2019. Lucio’s drivers delivered fresh gelato made in Cos Cob to Norwalk daily.
Lucio said the stand was a hit inside the mall in South Norwalk.
“The Apple Store and Bloomingdale’s both moved from Stamford over to Norwalk. It’s a very spacious mall and has a lot of services. There are sofas and chairs, and WiFi. Some people go there just for meetings,” he said.
“People would come in the morning for coffee and cappuccino,” he said. “They would see the gelato and come back later. A line would form at the kiosk which is in front of Zara.”
Lucio said just like in Cos Cob, mall customers would try the gelato and become hooked.
“The mall had a wide audience of customers – it’s very heterogeneous. Sundays were impressive! The mall gave us rope lines! It was intense, which was a surprise for us.”
The mall is temporarily closed by order of the Governor, but Lucio looks forward to reopening.
“Gelato is a form of dessert. It’s not necessarily seasonal,” Lucio explained. “At the mall we offered special cupcakes and cakes. The dairy free Mango sorbet was a favorite flavor there.”
Lucio explained that sorbet is created using only water, and sorbet has half the sugar and calories of regular ice cream.
“We don’t add eggs or extra preservatives or coloring. We keep it simple with good ingredients, and it makes a difference,” he said. “We do the same thing that my partner Alessandro Uccelli does in Italy with his seasonal gelato shop on the beach.”
Lucio and his partner Alessandro both hail from Belluno, a mountain town in the northern Italian region of Veneto.
“It’s a simple secret,” Lucio continued. “It’s about using the best ingredients and making it fresh.”
Lucio, who is vegetarian, said they offer vegan and vegetarian options and most ingredients are kosher.
“We try to accommodate local needs as much as possible,” he said. “We use local milk, but we also have dairy-free options.”
Gelato and Sorbet Options
There are non-dairy sorbets varieties including lemon, mango, strawberry and dark chocolate.
Dairy (no nuts, no eggs)
The dairy varieties include Amarena Cherry, Stracciatella, Oreo Cookies, Vanilla, Mint chocolate chip, chocolate and coffee.
Dairy with Nuts
Hazelnut, Bacio (mix chocolate, hazelnut, chocolate chips).
Dairy with Eggs (no nuts)
Italian cookies, Tiramisu, Veneziano (cream, amarena cherry, sponge cake, chocolate chip)
Hankering for a scoop? You have your choice of waffle cone, waffle cup or sugar cone. The waffle cups and cones are made on site using unique molds. Then pick your flavor or flavors. Small is one flavor, medium is two flavors and large is three flavors.
Louisa: small medium, large. Just choose your flavors, topping and size.
The homemade chocolates, sold by weight, really do melt in your mouth and come in combinations including dark chocolate with hazelnuts, milk chocolate with peanuts or white chocolate with pistachios.
The production process guarantees that the non-dairy flavors are made first, then dairy, then with eggs and finally with nuts. All equipment is thoroughly cleaned at each step.
Gelato & Cioccolato is located at 232 East Putnam Ave in Cos Cob.
Call for delivery (203) 900-1288.