The Gelato SandwichIn this heat it’s time to turn to all things frozen, which brings up the eternal question: What is the ideal receptacle for ice cream? Cups are really are a wimp’s way out and cones can be too kiddy. The answer may be found at Villabate Pasticceria in Bensonhurst. There you can get outstanding gelato served inside a brioche roll. This is not your usual ice cream sandwich. Villabate is known for its bread—its semolina is baked more than once a day—and the brioche rolls are baked here too. Light and airy, puffy and round, they are crowned with a beautiful brown glaze (recipe).

When you order, a roll is split and stuffed with either one or two scoops. Choose from the number of traditional flavors from lemon to tiramisu. The chocolate hazelnut boasts an abundance of whole, freshly toasted nuts. Or go for the zuppa inglese and you’ll know you’re a world away from American ice cream. Studded with candied fruit, it’s richer than frozen custard and redolent of rum. At $3.50 for a two-scoop sandwich, the frozen stuff here is cheaper than at many Manhattan gelaterias (like Taralucci or Ferrara). But the best feature of the gelato sandwich may be its ergonomic design: Melting is not a problem—the copious feathery bread soaks up the cream. So you can take it for a stroll. While you’re here check out the neighborhood, Brooklyn’s Little Italy, with its pork stores, ravioli factories, and front gardens filled with fig trees and grapevines. Villabate makes a good stopping point on a trip to Coney Island (perhaps for this weekend’s Mermaid Parade) since it’s in between the N (18th Ave. stop) and the D (71st St. stop). But if you crave gelato, it’s worth the trip alone.