12 reasons we love Gelateria Coffee Co. on South Grand
Last year, Andrew Fair (formerly executive chef at Union Loafers Cafe and Bread Bakery) and his wife Amanda Fair took over the familiar Gelateria Coffee Co. space on South Grand Boulevard. He kept all the things we love about it: the warm and inviting space, the coffee and, of course, the gelato. But Fair’s nature is to perfect things, and he has given us new reasons to return and rediscover a place we thought we already knew. Here are 12 reasons we love Gelateria Coffee Co.
1. Worn, cozy chairs in front of the storefront windows are the prime perch to enjoy a cappuccino or two.
2. Egg sandwiches are only available until 11 a.m. during the week and noon on the weekends. Whether you get the egg and cheddar with optional bacon or ham, or eggs with table cheese, spinach and salsa rosa, it’s worth it to arrange your schedule to have one.
3. Coffee drinks are made with house-roasted coffee. The espresso stands out too, whether it’s in a cortado or poured over their gelato in an affogato.
4. Unexpected syrups for coffee drinks, in flavors like cinnamon roll and blackberry, are fun ways to spice up your routine.
5. The tender, yeasty brioche takes many forms in the pastry case, like the maritozzo, a kind of doughnut with a velvety citrus custard, or the pizzette, which resemble tiny pizzas topped with ricotta and tomatoes. Our favorite use of the brioche, however, is the chocolate babka: Brioche is braided with 70% Callebaut and brut cocoa powder so that each slice is marbled with ribbons of chocolate.
6. Focaccia plays a starring role in the lunch sandwiches. Creative combinations like mortadella, ricotta, arugula and pistachio cream or spicy eggplant, roasted squash and mushroom and artichoke crema make for delicious choices.
7. Fair is a skilled chef and baker; he conceived the original menu at Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. in the Grove prior to moving on to Union Loafers. Fair’s new ideas and constant perfecting of old ideas has breathed new life into this South Grand anchor’s menu.
8. Pastry chef Autumn Johnson’s skillfully made pastries, like the almond bear claw, morning bun, and cheese Danish topped with tart cherries.
9. The chocolate chip cookie with flaked sea salt.
10. Housemade gelatos use Rolling Lawns Farm milk and offer mainstay flavors like vanilla and chocolate, which is complex and grown-up. The pistachio is delicate with chopped, roasted nuts to keep things interesting. Vegan options, like a recent oat-peanut butter cup, are remarkably good.
11. The hand-painted lettering on the sign outside was done by local sign painter Phil Jarvis. The antique gold type pairs handsomely with the blue facade.
12. Look for expansions in the future. Fair dreams of taking the Gelateria Coffee Co. from day to night by offering an evening menu with cicchetti (little Venetian snacks) such as a charcuterie program, crostini with chicken liver, or bruschetta with broad beans, mint and fresh cheese, with beer and wines on tap.
3197 S. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 314.776.3500, thegelateria.com