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Critic S. Irene Virbila cools it with an affogato

July 21, 2011 |  1:00 pm

Affogato (1 of 1) When Alto Palato, the late great West Hollywood Italian restaurant was still open and I lived around the corner, on hot summer days when the ceiling fan just wasn’t cutting it, I would sometimes slip over to the restaurant’s bar for an affogato. That would be ice cream "drowned" in espresso.

Gino Rendoni, longtime manager at Angelini Osteria, was the barista then. At the time, Alto Palato was practically the only place to get a good espresso. (L.A. has come a long, long way since those days.) And an affogato made with his espresso was superb.

Now I sometimes make it at home. The first requirement is a good vanilla gelato or ice cream. Don’t even think about using other flavors. Sometimes I have some I’ve made leftover, or if not, I’ll go with Ben & Jerry’s basic or Dr. Bob's vanilla. Put a scoop in a cup or small bowl and pour freshly made espresso over the top--not too much or the ice cream will melt under the onslaught, about the equivalent of a short espresso.

 That’s it. Consume immediately.


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—S. Irene Virbila

Photo credit: S. Irene Virbila/Los Angeles Times