Taste of the Town
July 10, 2013 • 04:38:50 p.m.

Taste of the Town: O’ Sole Mio serves authentic Italian experience

By NICOLE WESKERNA - nweskerna@shawmedia.com

BATAVIA – An owner of O’ Sole Mio in Batavia said when customers stop in, they can expect to have as close to an authentic Italian experience as possible.

Tory and Andrea Chiappelli, who live in Batavia, own the new cafe, bar and gelato shop on River Street with their partner, Tony Natale. The shop opened in late March, and Tory Chiappelli said they’ve gone through quite a bit of gelato since.

“We have been making 12 to 18 pans a day. ... The pans are five liters each,” she said. “We didn’t have any idea that the gelato would go that fast.”

Tory Chiappelli, who learned the art of gelato making from the Carpigiani Gelato University in Bologna, Italy, said making gelato is her creative outlet.

“Our goal was to bring the Italian experience to America,” she said.

While they serve the more traditional flavors, such as chocolate, vanilla and pistachio, they also have a case of gelato dedicated to the more experimental flavors, such as one flavored with Fruity Pebbles cereal.

“Every time I go to the grocery store, I see something and say, that would be good in gelato,” Tory Chiappelli said. “My goal is to continue making new stuff so every time you come in here, there’s something new to discover.”

All of the gelato is freshly homemade on site in the “Gelato Lab.” The difference between gelato and ice cream is that gelato is made with milk, and ice cream is made with cream, Tory Chiappelli said. It’s not fluffy like ice cream, she said, and the flavors hit the palette a little harder than ice cream.

Thirty-six flavors are always on display, and 12 of those flavors are dairy free. Some of those flavors include sorbetto, or fruit-based flavors, which come in options such as pear, blackberry, strawberry and lime. All flavors are gluten free, except for the flavors in which an ingredient with gluten is added, such as birthday cake or cookie dough. Some flavors, such as the margarita, are infused with alcohol.

Tory Chiappelli said they decided to open the shop in Batavia because that’s where they live, and also because there aren’t many other places in the area to buy authentic Italian gelato. She said she’s in the process of making cakes using semifreddo, which she said is a cross between mousse and gelato. She said she hopes to start offering classes on how to make gelato.

But gelato isn’t the only category on the menu. The shop also offers a full bar, cafe and food menu.

Andrea Chiappelli comes from a city in northern Italy called Modena, which is known for its stuffed pastas, Parmesan cheese and balsamic vinegar. O’ Sole Mio offers a food menu with salads, pastas and sandwiches from that area of northern Italy.

Because gelato can be viewed as a seasonal treat, the owners decided to add a full bar and lighter dishes so customers can enjoy the restaurant year-round, whether they want gelato or not. O’ Sole Mio has a 2,000-square-foot outdoor patio space and also has a front room with fireplace. Tory Chiappelli said they have live music on the weekends, too.

Tory Chiappelli said while they offer lighter fare and the cafe, their goal is not to compete with local restaurants, but rather to complement them. She said O’ Sole Mio is a place to stop and have lunch, or stop and have a martini and an appetizer before going out for dinner. It’s also a place to grab some dessert after a meal.

“We’re trying to really be different,” she said.

Planit Kane is operated by Shaw Media and the Kane County Chronicle.
Content copyright 2014, Planit Kane.
See how easy building a mobile-friendly website can be with Shaw Media Digital