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Italian couple open gelato shop on 23rd Avenue, bring recipes from old country

Oct. 16, 2017 By Tara Law

An authentic gelato shop with deep ties to Italy has opened in Astoria.

Gelato & Co., which opened last month at 29-02 23rd Avenue, is owned by Francesco D’Ambrosio and his wife, Liliana Buscemi, who moved to New York from Italy four years ago, along with three partners who still live in Milan.

D’Ambrosio laughs when asked why he wanted to open up the shop.

“I love gelato, that is the reason!” he explained. He admits that he also likes “ice cream, but it’s different.”

For D’Ambrosio, the decision to open a gelato shop in Astoria seemed natural. His family has been making gelato for generations, and he said he wanted to bring his family’s recipes to Astoria.

According to D’Ambrosio, the shop’s gelato tastes like the style served in Sicily. Although there are different styles of gelato made across Italy, D’Ambrosio claims that the Sicilian style is the best since it is made with corn starch and milk instead of cream and eggs.

The gelato is made in shop, and all the ingredients–except the milk–are imported from Italy. Several of his partners have visited from Italy to teach the ice cream makers how to make authentic gelato.

The machine used to make the gelato has been imported from Italy. D’Ambrosio describes it as the “Ferrari of gelato machines.” The machine rapidly heats the ingredients and then efficiently freezes them.

So far, says D’Ambrosio, the gelato shop’s dedication to authenticity has paid off. Even though the shop did not open until the end of the summer, the community has lined up for the icy dessert despite the cooler weather, he said

“We are so excited,” said D’Ambrosio. “The neighborhood has been very warm with us until now. Everyone loves our gelato.”

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Elizabeth Vitolo

Members of our family live near by, and brought us one night to meet the new owners, and taste their gelato. WOW!. Love all the flavors. Good thing we live a little far or I would have their gelato every day.


I am of Italian descent and have spent a lot of time in Italy eating Gelato. This is the real stuff!!! I marched right over there after I read this article. This stuff is the bes!!!!!!! The couple who owns it is very nice and the shop is so clean. I wish them success and luck !!


Finally a place in Astoria where all local residents (young and older) can go to and enjoy something tasty. And the children love it! Thank you!


Certainly the best, by far, I’ve ever tasted in Astoria, and among the best I’ve had in the city.


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