For Authentic Italian Gelato, Head to Hampton Bays

Photo by East End Taste

Now that summer is here, everyone is looking for ways to enjoy the 90-degree weather. For when it gets too hot or humid, however, there is no better way to cool down than with authentic Italian gelato. Don’t worry about booking a flight to Rome just yet though—Gemelli Gelato, located at 139 West Montauk Highway in Hampton Bays, offers a variety of unique, artisanal gelato flavors right here on the East End.

The store is small, but the large field extending out from its doors offers children a perfect place to play while adults can enjoy the relaxing space set back from the busy highway. During the summer, the owners make gelato with a smaller machine for customers to see and taste fresh, and will also be bringing in new cold brew coffee, Italian drinks, fruit cups and sandwiches.

After years of supplying gelato to Gemelli Gelato on a wholesale basis during its first three years of operation, co-owners and lifelong friends Charlie Ferrante and Anthony DePaola recently jumped at the chance to take over management of the store. Ferrante and DePaola met in high school and worked together at an Italian café before starting Gelato Kings, their own wholesale gelato business.

During their years at the café, they learned the art of making authentic gelato from the café’s Sicilian-born owner, Giussepe Bonura, known as Mr. Joe. Ferrante and DePaola continue to use these skills in the production of their gelato, which gets its authentic consistency and flavor from the use of high quality, natural ingredients.

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Time for gelato!

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“I worked at the café for 13 years and having a store of my own is like doing it all over again, which is a great feeling,” says Ferrante. “We take pride in what we do and also the story behind it.  We never forget where we came from and all of the people who have helped us along the way.”

Although many of Gemelli’s gelato ingredients are imported from Italy, during the summer their gelato flavors feature local Long Island berries and produce.

“The best part is the flavors, we have some unique flavors,” says Ferrante.

He isn’t exaggerating. Some of Gemelli’s most popular flavors include rainbow cookie, caramel with chocolate pretzels, strawberry mascarpone, popcorn and Nutella. One of their more unique flavors, arugula and honey gelato, marbled with fig puree and walnuts topped with vanilla fig balsamic, made it to the Gelato World Tour, where Ferrante and DePaola were New York Finalists. They also offer a specialty flavor of the week, like the “Chocolate Elephant”—peanut butter gelato with mini brownie bites and melted chocolate—and seasonal flavors like sweet basil gelato. The gelato can be enjoyed in homemade waffle cones that also come in interesting flavors like red velvet, salted blue corn, birthday cake and toasted coconut.

Gemilli Gelato is open Mondays through Fridays from 2:00 to 10:00 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 to 11:00 p.m. In addition to Gemelli Gelato, Charlie and Anthony’s Gelato Kings offers catering, and is available from a portable cart to serve at events and parties.