There are a lot of tiers of ice cream/gelato, at least in terms of pretentiousness. Ciao Bella is not at the top tier, probably because it is not sufficiently "artisanal." It is a chain. And it is sold (*gasp*) at grocery stores
But if you stop by the convenient Ciao Bella counter in the Grand Central Dining Concourse, there is really no way to distinguish its beautiful offerings from those of the more artisanal gelaterias. And tastewise, I think Ciao Bella holds its own with just about anything, easily outpacing any other store-bought offerings.
My favorite item at Ciao Bella is the dark chocolate sorbet. You need to be a sorbet person. Many aren't. But the real advantage is that it's just so much more chocolatey than gelato or ice cream, because those necessarily uses dairy.
On my most recent trip, I was thirsty, so I decided to mix it up and got an iced green tea float with the chocolate sorbet. I made an amateur mistake, though, in getting the medium rather than the small. They put in the same one scoop of sorbet with extra green tea, diluting the chocolatiness. However, by the time I got to the more chocolatey bottom, the drink was absolutely hitting the spot.
My friend got a cup of cookies and cream and mocha gelatos. Neither is really my style for obvious reasons, but both involved chocolate and were good versions of what they are.
Bottom Line: Easily the best stuff you can buy in a store and conveniently located in Grand Central