Restaurant Review - What's the Scoop
Salty or sweet?: What's the Scoop? goes beyond gelato I fell in love with What's the Scoop? the first time I walked into the gelateria. It was a cold winter day and manager Dominic Bate loaded me up with a scoop of mint chocolate chip gelato. Despite the weather, I was hooked. It was my first taste of the creamy stuff and I knew I'd be coming back for more. No, I can't compare it to the native Italian variety (so far, I've missed my chance to kick-it in The Boot), but it's hard to find fault with something so sweet and creamy. The shop is owned and operated by Janine and Alon Balshan, the same people who own and operate Alon's Bakery just a few stores over. But where Alon's is a warm, cozy bakery, What's the Scoop? has the sleek feel of a Miami nightclub, with green walls, marble counter tops and nary a chair in sight. If the lights were dimmed and a DJ were in the house, it'd be hard not to dis the Euro-trash cruising one another. Salty: Crepes have been introduced to draw people in even if they don't have a taste for gelato. The dinner crepes are a stand-out. I started with the asparagus spears with diced tomatoes, sauteed corn, fontina cheese and pesto sauce ($5). The warm crepe browned with butter was stuffed with fresh, green asparagus and oozed with plenty of cheese. The corn actually worked and the pesto was fab. Then there was the sauteed zucchini and eggplant with herbed goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes ($4.50). How could I say no? The spinach and four cheese ($4.50) could hardly compete with the salty flavor of the goat in the other crepe but the Parmesan, Fontina, Gruyere and mozzarella were still a great combo. The menu is being refined but currently includes salmon crepes with lemon dill cream cheese and fresh cucumbers ($7), the duck with fig in port ($7) and blue cheese, caramelized onions with fresh pear ($4.50).Or sweet?: Of course, the menu includes crepes to satisfy your sweet tooth. Nutella definitely shows up but there are some peculiar varieties as well. How 'bout the banana, peanut butter and honey ($3.50)? There's the milk chocolate with candied orange peel ($3.50), a caramelized milk sauce or dulce de leche ($3) as well as several varieties using Aunt Sarah products like the orange marmalade. And for dessert?: The dozens of varieties of gelato and sorbet put the gelateria on the map. A regular cup ($3) of grapefruit sorbet mixed with fiore di latte provided a great, palate-cleansing mix of sweet and sour.Service?: Manager Dominic Bate is an amiable Scottish chap, although his dry wit can sometimes sting while he cooks up a crepe. If one of the neighborhood kids who work the shop serves you, you may be able to talk them into adding a little extra in your cup, or giving you enough gelato samples to make a meal.