New to the Power and Light District in 2011, Balsano's Gelato Cafe and Coffee Shop brings its winning combo from Kansas City's tony Country Club Plaza area into the hip, energetic neighborhood known for its restaurants and nightlife. The day of our visit, the mercury reached 95, and we were hankering for ice cream, so we decided to walk down. What we found: about a dozen flavors of gelato, all made that morning, including two all-fruit, nondairy options. General manager Tom Haas offered us samples of as many as we wanted. We settled on a waffle cone full of chocolate-hazelnut and chocolate chip/peanut butter ($5.95). Talk about exactly what we were looking for. We sat at one of the cafe tables inside—skipping the outside tables because of the heat—and watched convention-goers troll the street in search of dinner (just within a block, there was a seafood place, a sushi bar and a Mexican restaurant).
Cute chalkboards list the day's specials, including a spiced pumpkin latte, as well as breakfast sandwiches. The atmosphere was classy, with red walls and wrought-iron tables and chairs, and we'd definitely go back for coffee and treats.