Now that summer is here, ice cream is everywhere. Be it a shop, a truck, or a cart, you can't walk a block without hearing that familiar joyous scream for ice cream. The overwhelming array of options throughout Chicago can make it difficult to sift through the miscellany to suss out the best. Or at least something truly unique and memorable. Then along comes Amorino, a newly minted gelato shop in the Gold Coast. Founded in Paris, this is a gelateria that has really taken off in the U.S., and for good reason. One look at the presentation and you'll see that this is far from your average scoop.
The thing that sets Amorino apart from the fray is its signature "floral" design. Each gelato cone is meticulously manicured so as to resemble a flower. Guests can customize their cones with anywhere from one to three or four flavors of gelato and sorbet, and the gelato scoopers go to work layering flavors ever so delicately. It's practically anxiety-inducing to watch them work. But this arrangement is more than mere aesthetics. The striation of thin petals serves to maximize flavors and marry the gelato and sorbet together in smart new ways. One lick brings a bright burst of passion fruit sorbet while another erupts with rich dark chocolate. Rather than stack up scoops one on top of the other, forcing the consumer to tackle one flavor after the other, this presentation ensures all flavors are given an equal share. One of my favorite offbeat flavor combos is the aforementioned passion fruit + chocolate. It's got the juicy tang of the tropical fruit offset by the deep, fudgy accents of dark chocolate. Together, they're a match made in beautiful, elegant gelato heaven.