I know you can’t believe I’m writing about gelato right now. It’s January, and we’re all Californians who don’t know how to handle these below-50 temperatures. But there’s a reason why Bon Goût Gelato Lounge recently posted about having a full house of customers in winter: It’s too good to wait for warmer temperatures to try it.
Gelato, for those of you who don’t know, is Italian ice cream. It’s less fluffy than traditional ice cream, and has fewer calories and less fat (a.k.a. dessert with less guilt)!
Bon Goût—which is French for “good taste”—opened on the northwest corner of Willow and Nees in Fresno several months ago. The lounge has a wide range of gelato flavors, from traditional to experimental, all made in-house by owner Javier Sara. Sara and his wife came to Fresno in 2014 to escape communism in their home country of Venezuela.
“I left everything … to start from zero here,” says Sara, who was previously a civil engineer.
It’s clear that Sara puts a lot of thought and care into developing his flavors. I went into my visit excited, and it exceeded my expectations. I got the honey lavender, which was incredible. My family went for the more classic pistachio and Oreo flavors, which were also yummy, as were the samples of lemon basil, whiskey cream, and waffle caramel that I tried. Bon Goût also has seasonal offerings, which included gingerbread, rum raisin, and eggnog when we were there. Basically, you can’t go wrong with any of these.
“We use real fruits and natural pastes to give the most rich and healthy flavor to our finished product,” Sara told me.
While we went the cup route, there’s a whole host of gelato delivery systems to choose from. You can have your frozen goodness in a shake, a cone, or even on top of cappuccino. You can also have it with other fresh, homemade desserts like waffles, brownies, and crepes. Bon Goût also serves gelato inside slices of cake, and will even make custom gelato cakes for your special occasions!
For those who don’t have a sweet tooth, I should backtrack and say that we actually started our visit with dinner at Bon Goût—yes, dinner! The lounge serves fresh-made paninis and crepes, and as a longtime savory crepe fan, I was happy to try all of their offerings. I recommend the beef crepe in particular. The steak was surprisingly tender and flavorful!
“The big difference is, we are not just a dessert place,” Sara says. “We serve savory options like crepes, salads, paninis, beverages, natural juices made with fresh fruits, [and] coffees, so a customer can get breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner or dessert in the same place, with a chill ambiance and great customer service.”
If you’re planning to check out Bon Goût Gelato Lounge, you should snag one of several deals available online before you go, like Yelp’s deal: $9 for a voucher worth $12. Or if you’re already a fan like me, the best way to go may be Groupon: for $12, you can get three $8 vouchers to use at separate times.