Gianna’s Gelato ignites the taste buds

Ernie, Melissa and baby Gianna Aiello proudly celebrate the opening of Gianna’s Café at 1408 Crosby Avenue. - Photo by Kevin Heckman

Motivated by their seven-month-old sweetheart Gianna, parents Ernie and Melissa Aiello recently opened Gianna’s Café – an eatery that will surely satisfy any Italian sweet tooth.

“She’s our first kid, she’s adorable and she’ll bring us luck,” Ernie said about his darling daughter who’s proudly featured on their weekly advertisements for the newly created establishment.

Located at 1408 Crosby Avenue, between Codington and Zulette avenues, Ernie said for he and his wife, who was born and raised in Morris Park, it was easy to settle in the friendly Waterbury neighborhood after searching for a site for approximately six months.

“I liked the location on Crosby and I felt something about it, so we took a shot,” Ernie explained.

Serving tiramisu, cannolis, chocolate cheesecake brownies, Italian cheesecake, various types of milkshakes, and traditional favorites, such as espresso, cappuccino, iced coffees and lattes, just to name a few of their delicious offerings, Ernie added the quaint 400-square-foot space offers customers great treats in a cozy atmosphere.

“We like it to give off a homey, Italian atmosphere,” he said, describing the black and white photos of family members that decorate the metallic silver walls. “It’s a different atmosphere. It’s not like anything in the neighborhood.”

But much more than authentic ambiance, Ernie said Gianna’s serves the best gelato in town. With ingredients fresh from the homeland, a gelato specialist delicately formulates each dish, ensuring a quality Italian dessert.

To complete the menu, Ernie said it’s his grandma’s secret recipe that leaves customers wanting more.

“She’s 81-years-old and she bakes my cheesecake,” he explained. “She’s been making it for years so I said I should put it in the store.”

Eternally grateful for his grandma’s endless support, Ernie said he still wonders when she’ll break the baking barrier and disclose her secret recipe.

 “She won’t even tell us what’s in it,” he said laughing about her coveted cheesecake. “There are like no exceptions from her.”

From his grandmother’s wisdom to his daughter’s young innocence, Ernie said he and his wife would continue to focus on the family while giving the community a true Italian treat and hope the business grows along with its namesake for years to come.

Gianna’s Café is open from Sunday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; and Fridays and Saturdays, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

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