Paris Notebook

Mary, Authentic Italian Ice Cream in Paris

Posted in Products by Phyllis Flick on June 16, 2010
Tags: , , , , , ,

I never intended to write about ice cream.  As summer approaches, everyone writes about ice cream in Paris, but aside from Grom, the Italian gelato maker who moved on to the rue de Seine earlier this year, the ice cream scene hasn’t changed all that much in years.  With nothing new to add, I didn’t feel very inspired.

That is, until @thatparisguy announced that @tavallai (this all took place on Twitter in case you aren’t following) had uncovered a new gelato place in the 3rd and was claiming that it was the best in Paris.  I should confess, I know very little about gelato, except that it’s Italian for ice cream, but @tavalli sounded like he knew what he was talking about and so right before dinner, to my boyfriend’s dismay, I took our dog for a walk in search of Mary, who, as @tavalli claimed, was making the best gelato in Paris.

Mary is located in one of those out-of-the-way streets that you might miss if you didn’t have a reason to go there.  It’s not far from Republique and is considered the “upper Marais” I suppose.  The shop has only been open for about two weeks, but already seemed to be doing well as was evident from all the people I saw eating ice cream as I made my way up the rue Charles-François Dupuis .

Mary Quarta, who is Italian, was there, serving her gelato.  She is charming, doesn’t speak much French or English, but thanks to her partner who could interpret, I was able to find out what makes great gelato.  First, you must have great ingredients, then know-how and of course love, she told me.  Her gelatos were full of flavor and from the way she spoke, you could tell that she was passionate about making them.  On the wall proudly behind her was the 1st place award she won in Milan last year for her coffee gelato.

Mary makes 32 flavors in her little Paris store and to start I tried the chocolate and raspberry, both intensely flavored and delicious.

The deep chocolate and crimson colors were beautiful, but unfortunately I got so caught up in my conversation with Mary and her partner, learning about her shop in Milan, how she had studied with a gelato master, and how she loved Paris and spent the past year trying to figure out how to open a shop here, that I walked out, got half way down the block only to realize that I hadn’t even paid and never took a photo of the gelato!  So back I went and bought another two flavors—all for the sake of the blog—this time a markedly flavorful hazelnut and pistachio.

As I said, I am not a gelato expert, so I can’t say with conviction that this was the best gelato in Paris.  I would love to go back with someone like David Lebovitz to hear his authoritative take.  If you want to learn more about gelato then I suggest you read David’s article What’s Gelato, because he can certainly tell you more than I ever could.

In any case, Mary’s gelato is very good, so if you want to taste one of the best, and certainly the newest addition to the Paris ice cream scene, head to Mary.

1 rue Charles-François Dupuis,
Paris 3rd

Omid Tavallai’s article which inspired me to go: Mary the Gelato Shop

And some Paris classics for ice cream

31, rue Saint-Louis-en l’Ile, 4th.
Closed Mondays and Tuesdays and the second half of July and August—just in time for ice cream season!

You can of course get Berthillon’s all over the Ile Saint Louis but I wouldn’t have it anywhere else but here.  This is the original store and somehow it just tastes better here.

Gelati d’Alberto
45, rue Mouffetard, 5th
Open daily

81, rue de Seine, 6th
Open daily

39, rue du Roi-de-Sicile, 4th

59-61, bd de Reuilly, 12th.
Closed Mondays

David Lebovitz has an exhaustive and authoritative list in his article Paris Ice Cream Shops: Les Glaciers de Paris

And Barbra Austin lists her favourites in an article on her blog: Paris is Freezing

And in French, Figaroscope’s “best” list for 2010: Glaces: Nos plus belles notes de frais !


10 Responses to 'Mary, Authentic Italian Ice Cream in Paris'

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  1. Brian Ellerbeck said,

    Phyllis, thanks for the write-up of Mary, which I will visit when I’m in town next month. Good gelato is such an absorbing treat. I recall eating my way across Northern Italy last year, finding some very fine gelaterias along the way, and practically swooning as my tongue met the fullness of flavor of pesca or cappuchino or whatever else emerged for my delectation. That the temperatures at the time were in the mid- to upper 30s C only added to the satisfaction (and need for same!).

    I live in New York, where we are deprived of good gelaterias, unfortunately. Grom is here, but I find it bland and overpriced. Another wannabe outpost in nyc is L’Arte de Gelato, which is even more highly priced and even less satisfying than is Grom. So the prospect of some genuine, honest-to-goodness delicious gelato in Paris is reason enough to board a plane, methinks.

    • Phyllis Flick said,

      Let me know if you like it Brian, people rave about Pozzetto as well.

  2. Laidback said,

    Phyllis thanks for the find. I am enjoying your new burst of “blog energy”, keep it up. I love good gelato and will mention a tiny little place on Rue des Martyrs just down from Cul de Poule that is worth a stop if you are over that way: “Caramella”.

    • Phyllis Flick said,

      Merci Laidback! I had forgotten about Caramella and need to give it a try. Too bad, I was just in that neighborhood the other day.

  3. Barbra said,

    Oooh, can’t wait to try it. Especially now that it’s warmed up again. Not that cold weather ever stands between me and ice cream…

  4. […] out more about Mary at The Paris Notebook.  Read about Merce on My Little Paris.  See a list of my favorite ice cream shops in […]

  5. sitting here in 100 degree heat and longing for ICE CREAM
    New York is ^%$#@
    full of self pity instead of ice cream 😦

    • Phyllis Flick said,

      I feel for you! I’m from the east coast so I know how brutal summers can be 😦

  6. Bob said,

    I am a gelato addicted. I like most of them but for the ones which use artificial colours and taste different because the ingredients have been cut with something else to save money.

    I went to lucy and I was disappointed not only by the tast and texture (fatty) but by the vivid artificial green of pistachio. Grom itself is very trendy but their jandugia tastes like peanut butter. If it werent for the tooth aching sugar content, amorino’s nutella is better.

    Try Pozzetto. That is really good. Too bad they have just few flavours and they are currently not making the mint sherbet.

    • Phyllis Flick said,

      Thanks Bob for taking the time to report back! I tried Pozzetto years ago, but I think it is time to revisit.

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