Since Dolce Gelateria opened in Franklin Square last summer, owner Danny Altesi said the shop has seen a steady stream of customers from the South Shore, many of whom begged him to open a location nearer to where they lived. On July 14, they got their wish with the debut of a Bellmore outpost.
“Even with what’s been going on, coming in and getting a gelato feels normal. I think people just want that normalcy,” says Altesi, who describes the response as overwhelming.
Altesi and his partners, brother Vito Altesi and gelato maker Sal Potestio, had found a failing yogurt shop and Dolce-ed it up with the same whimsy and refinement that characterizes the original store: tables and chairs in mint and fudge, gleaming terrazzo countertops and a wall neatly graffitied with gelato flavors, from traditional strawberry, coffee and stracciatella (chocolate chip) to more innovative basil, olive oil and fig-honey, to newfangled, Instagrammable cotton candy (a shocking blue) and rainbow cookie.
Potestio is a veteran gelato maker who made a name for himself in Manhattan first with L’Arte del Gelato on Barrow Street, and then at its successor at the same location, Dolce Gelateria, which closed in 2015. The Altesi brothers were determined to serve pastry every bit as good as his gelato and so they turned to New Hyde Park’s Marzullo Bakery to supply the almond and pistachio macaroons, brioches (that can be stuffed with gelato) and the rainbow cookies that are blended into the rainbow-cookie gelato.
To drink: Expertly made espresso drinks and Italian sodas (including the hard to find Stappi Red Bitter).
Dolce Gelato is open every day from noon to 10 p.m.
2942 Merrick Rd., Bellmore, 631-602-7273 and 220 Franklin Ave., Franklin Square, 516-673-4994, dolcegelatonyc.com