There was a summer about four or five years ago when nearly every visit to the city for a weekend dinner ended up with someone saying, “How about some gelato?” There would then be affirmation from the rest of the car and we’d head toward Virginia-Highlands and Paolo’s Gelato Italiano.
We fell in love with gelato on an anniversary trip to Italy. In fact, we loved it so much that we had to limit ourselves to two gelato shops a day! You’d think that gelato is a summer dish, but we’d argue that it is a year round favorite. If you’re unfamiliar with gelato, it is similar to ice cream, but typically contains less fat (fruit-based gelatos are typically 2% milk fat or less) and very intense flavors.
Paolo is Italian. This is key*. Many times we went in and his mom was working the counter, her English skills primarily limited to explaining flavors and making change. He graduated from college intending to be a veterinary surgeon, but the life of vet wasn’t as exciting as he expected and while he was in America he discovered that we didn’t have gelato shops. Bingo – Paolo’s Italian Gelato was born. Thank God. The counter (above) with ten flavors is a from a March visit.
* You have to appreciate his sense of humor – there’s an ad that says “Would you trust a guy named Bob to make your gelato?”
I’m a fan of the fruit flavors – this night was lemon (the same night when we discussed having the waitress at Goin’ Coastal walking next door to Paolo’s and bringing gelato back for us.) Excellent, as always.
My favorite flavor, of all gelato time, is green apple, but they haven’t had that in the last couple of years. I guess I need to sign up for their Gelato Alerts so I’ll know when they have it.