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Gelato on Long Island: The best places to get it

Even if you've eaten your fill of ice cream, there's always room for gelato. Here's where to try some on Long Island.

Gemelli Gelato

Ice cream server adds rainbow sprinkles to three
Credit: Daniel Brennan

Gemelli Gelato (139 West Montauk Hwy., Hampton Bays): Set back from Montauk Highway on a gentle slope, Gemelli Gelato is one of the Island's prettiest spots for enjoying ice cream. Sit at a picnic table while the kids run around (and drip) on the expansive lawn. Owners Anthony DePaola and Charlie Ferrante bring a youthful verve to the centuries-old art of gelato, creating flavors such as passion fruit, rainbow cookie, apple pie and white chocolate with raspberries. Even the cones are inventive: In addition to wafer, sugar and waffle, Gemelli stocks red velvet cones and birthday cake cones. More info: 631-594-5600, gemelligelatohamptonbays.com

Dolce Gelateria

Mango and coconut, strawberry and pistachio and chocolate
Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Dolce Gelateria (220 Franklin Ave., Franklin Square). This year-old shop, makes small batches of gelato fresh every day. Flavors range from chocolate, pistachio and strawberry to fig-honey Snickers and rainbow cookie. There are also shakes made with gelato and pastries from local Italian bakeries including brioches buns that are just waiting to be filled with gelato for the popular Sicilian breakfast sandwich treat. To drink: Italian sodas and espresso drinks. The bright dining room has mint-colored chairs and stools, and dark chocolate tables. More info 516-673-4994, dolcegelatonyc.com

Dei Coltelli Gelato & Sorbet

Mint chip gelato with chocolate shavings, hazelnut gelato
Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Dei Coltelli Gelato & Sorbet (591 Willis Ave., Williston Park): This corner spot has been dispensing homemade gelato since 2005, but in 2017, Baci Gelato got a new name and a spiffy makeover. Allen Aingorn had been a partner at Baci, but he is sole owner of dei Coltelli. The name (pronounced "day coal-TELL-ee") honors Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli, the Sicilian chef who first popularized Italian ice cream at his Café Procope, founded in Paris in 1686. Here virtually all the ingredients (except for fresh fruit) are imported from Italy. Pistachio, made with Sicilian nuts, is particularly fine. Other popular flavors are bacio (chocolate hazelnut), stracciatella (cream-flavored ice cream laced with dark chocolate) and salted caramel. Dei Coltelli also makes elegant gelato cakes and gelato pops. More info: 516-801-1706, deicoltelli.com

Sant Ambroeus

Sant Ambroeus in Southampton offers some of Long
Credit: Doug Young

Sant Ambroeus (30 Main St., Southampton): Sant Ambroeus is the East End's gelato central, the Southampton outpost of a Manhattan ristorante-gelateria itself inspired by the original cafe that opened in Milan in 1931. The surroundings may have an aura of hauteur but the gelato is pure, unadulterated joy. The coffee flavor is done with house-brewed espresso. Fresh banana goes into the banana gelato; the result puts the fruit itself to shame. Also recommended: tangy passion fruit, grapefruit and lemon, and the lush chocolate, hazelnut and vanilla. More info: 631-283-1233, santambroeus.com

Viale Gelateria

At ViAle Gelateria, they make luscious gelatos, but
Credit: Bruce Gilbert

Viale Gelateria (424 Sunrise Hwy., Lynbrook): At her spotlessly clean gelateria, Italian expat Anna Franchi offers about two dozen flavors every day. The variety rotates, but the resonantly nutty pistachio gelato is a must-order. Dress it up with chocolate sauce or a sprinkling of crunchy little meringue bits. Even the slim, elegant wafer cones are imported from Italy. More info: 516-442-0094

Caffe Italia

Pistachio and chocolate gelato served on a soft
Credit: Daniel Brennan

Caffe Italia (1745 Deer Park Ave., Deer Park): Owner Michael Costigliola doesn't understand the American penchant for gelato "with crazy stuff in it." After all, what could be better than vanilla with real vanilla beans, coffee with freshly pulled espresso, strawberry with fresh strawberries, pistachio with nuts from Sicily? Bending to popular demand, he'll make gelato with gingerbread Kit Kat bars or Oreos, but his heart is in the simple, elegant flavors that remind him of Italy. Try a big scoop of gelato sandwiched inside a split brioche bun. More info: 631-667-0201

Leonetti Pastry Shop

Chocolate Gelato at Leonetti Pastry Shop in Greenvale
Credit: Marisol Diaz-Gordon

Leonetti Pastry Shop (82-16 Glen Cove Rd., Greenvale): Saverio and Stella Leonetti used to make gelato back in Bari, Italy. Here, on Long Island, they continue the family tradition at this Greenvale bakery. The gelato here is creamy and clean tasting, made frequently to ensure freshness. There are usually around 20 flavors on offer -- among them, excellent hazelnut, pistachio, coffee and chocolate -- plus a number of fruit sorbetti. Enjoy your scoop of choice at one of the little tables, and pretend you're in Italy. More info: 516-625-8242, leonettipastryshop.com 

D'latte Cafe

D'latte cafe is located in Greenport village and
Credit: Doug Young

D'latte Cafe (218 Main St., Greenport): This Greenport café uses local produce and the chefs' imagination to produce very fine gelato. During the summer, flavors follow the season: strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, peach; even local goat milk turns up in gelato. For pistachio, nuts from Sicily and Turkey are blended to get just the right flavor. Past inspirations include white chocolate with lavender, and coconut with lemon grass. More info: 631-477-6738

Spiga Bakery

Spiga Bakery's brioche filled with three scoops of
Credit: Newsday/Rebecca Cooney

Spiga Bakery (4636 Merrick Rd., Massapequa): Spiga showcases its homemade gelato, featuring about 10 each day (the most popular are salted caramel, hazelnut and pistachio). The newest addition is fig gelato, made with purple figs. It's the right filling for one of the bakeries' doughnuts, too. Spiga also makes an evocative gelato-filled brioche that will transport you to Sicily. More info: 516-541-2300, spigabakery.com

Gran Caffe

Homemade gelato is the main event at Gran
Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

Gran Caffe (31 Hempstead Ave., Lynbrook): After more than four decades as Lynbrook's go-to place to go for a quick coffee and an Italian pastry or watching the Italian soccer on TV, Gran Caffe turned gelateria.  Among the 20 flavors, you will usually see chocolate, vanilla, coffee, hazelnut plus mango, strawberry, melon and lemon sorbetto. More info: 516-887-2878, grancaffegelateria.com

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