Nob Hill gelato store offers dizzying array of decadent desserts and drinks

New Mexico Daily Lobo 2008-08-08, by Shandea Williams
View the original article here.

Ecco Featured in the Daily Lobo

Nearly everyone has downed a pint of ice cream on a bad day, but there's a better way to chase the blues away.

Ecco Gelato serves up more than 120 rotating flavors of gelato that will melt in your mouth and cool you off. Gelato has less fat - usually only 6 to 10 percent total fat - than ice cream, which is usually around 15 percent butter fat. After doing some taste testing - and I did a lot - I realized that I enjoy the flavor and the consistency of gelato more than regular ice cream.

The Albuquerque store has only been open for two weeks, and Ecco's interior is decorated and designed in a chic, modern fashion. It's three doors down from Il Vicino in Nob Hill - slightly hidden because there is no sign yet.

Owner and gelato expert Matt Durkovich gave me an Italian gelato tour. They use tiny metal tasting spoons that are more environmentally friendly because they can be reused.

In the traditional gelato category, the pistachio and the stracciatella (Italian chocolate chip) are tasty. They even have a strawberry stracciatella, if you want a dash of fruity flavor. It tastes exactly like a creamy, chocolate-covered strawberry. I also had the privilege of tasting many of the nontraditional flavors like green tea, espresso and honeydew melon. I really appreciated the genuine flavor in each of the gelatos. If you order honeydew, it tastes like honeydew, not like artificial honeydew flavoring.

If you want to bask in the wonder of gelato without any milk fat at all, the store offers a variety of sorbets. Lemon and cherry were my favorites. The small chunks of cherry were a nice fruity addition and definitely made the cherry flavor pop.

And what's the cost of this deliciousness? A small cup with two flavors is $3.50. There is also kids' size ($3), medium ($4.25) and large (with four flavors) for $5.

To go along with your gelato, the store has a full service espresso bar. Lattes, mochas, spicy hot chocolate and gourmet coffees are served iced or hot. Its to-go cups are made from corn and are 100 percent recyclable and biodegradable, so remember not to leave them in your car, because they will melt. Most of the drink menu ranges from $2 to $5.

Over the next month, Ecco's will begin offering a variety of pastries. The menu already has brownies, croissants and muffins.

Ecco Gelato is an excellent addition to Nob Hill. It's a great place to pop in after a late-night class or in the morning for a caffeine boost. So get your gelato on.

Recommendations:

  • Strawberry stracciatella
  • Cherry sorbet
  • Green tea gelato
  • Pistacio gelato
  • Black cherry creamosa