I kept hearing that Berthillon was the best ice cream in Paris, so early on in my stay some friends and I decided to check it out. It certainly shouldn't be missed! In particular the Grand Marnier flavour, the chocolate and the pear were amazing. But the best ice cream in Paris? No, my friends. There is better.
There is a tiny shop about one eighth the size of Berthillon tucked away at 192 Rue de Grenelle. There is nowhere to sit - the store is essentially just a big ice cream counter and a big freezer full of cartons on the side. The whole thing has a very homey, casual feeling about it. Yes, this is the place I am telling you beats out the extravagant, luxurious, elegent Berthillon. This is Martine Lambert.
Martine Lambert makes the most amazing ice cream I have ever tasted. Her pistachio is the best pistachio I've ever had - the nuttiest, creamiet, most intense flavour you could imagine. It beats out the pisachio at Berthillon, Grom, Pozzetto, Amorino (all in Paris), Giolitti Gelato, Gelateria Del Teatro, Gelateria di San Crispino (Rome) and Vestri (Florence). My favourite pisatchio used to be Grom and Vestri's, but Martine Lambert is easily the champion.
Likewise, her caramel ice cream is the best caramel I've ever had - it tastes like putting an actual caramel in your mouth, but icey and creamy. The dark chocolate is apparently a sorbet, and it's really not very sweet, but the caramel is so sweet that these two flavours were made for each other.
Now, other places still have Martine beat on certain other flavours (the gianduja at Pozzetto, for example, is the reigning hazelnut-related champion for me, and Grom's chocolate would probably pip Martine's simply because it's a tad milkier). But Martine definitely whips Berthillon, elegence of the table settings be damned.
It's going into winter, so I'm getting to the point where I just look stupid walking the streets of Paris with an ice cream cone. But for Martine Lambert's icecream, I will do it gladly.