We love a good cone of hazelnut gelato to top off a long week, so last night, we headed to Cones on Bleecker for a treat. And, not unusual for a nice summer night, there was a small crowd outside and we were about sixth in line. A customer a few people ahead of us asked the owner (we assumed he was the owner - he was older and seemed in charge) for a sample of the zabaglione gelato and the owner brusquely said, "No." The customer, a 20-30 something white guy whose girlfriend/wife already had a cone, said, "What? Why can't I get a sample?" The owner said, "No samples. I've got people waiting." Boom! This started an insane screaming chorus from the couple, with the woman saying, "What? No sample? Fine, I won't pay for the gelato," and the man saying things like "You don't know who you're dealing with...you're gonna regret this." The owner kept saying, "I don't care! Fine!" as he tried to serve other horrified customers. Now, while everyone likes a sample, we had to side with the owner in the dispute - he had a number of customers to serve. Sure, he could have been nicer about telling the customer he wasn't getting a sample, but the owner seemed very harried and anxious to keep the line moving.
The woman ended up paying for the cone, while the man told other workers (including one who tried to calm them down) that the owner was an asshole and continued to parry various insults. When the couple finally left the store, the man said, "Wait till you read the Times on Monday!" Ooh. But the couple didn't actually quite leave - they kept the door open and yelled from the sidewalk, "It's over! It's over!" Which made us wonder, if it's over, why stand on the sidewalk and rehash it. We suppose the man had a major hankering for the taste of zabaglione gelato.
Photograph from Williams-Sonoma, for their Chocolate Hazelnut Gelato recipe, for when you don't want to leave the house