Ice Cream Adventure: Pitango Gelato

Strawberry Sorbet

She Said: Pitango Gelato

I really like ice cream a lot. But, I love sorbet. I got hooked on it a few years ago and it’s one of my favorite things to eat. I love it because you get the chance to have a sweet and frosty treat that is also low in fat. We have been to Reston Town Center a number of times and we’ve seen Pitango but haven’t tried it until recently. I knew that they are supposed to be a very earth friendly company that all used super-high quality ingredients. I thought it sounded like they would make yummy gelato and was thrilled they offered sorbet, too. However, even though it was fun to eat ice cream with my sweetheart on a bench with the summer breeze blowing, I didn’t actually enjoy the food.

Pitango looks like what you would imagine a somewhat upscale ice storm would like. It’s sparsely decorated with polished glass and chrome everywhere. It’s definitely not a cozy environment and I actually wanted to eat outside instead. I applaud them for offering to email you receipts and think that’s definitely doing something active to help the earth. However, I don’t like to give out my email while standing in line- who knows what kind of crazy person will hear it? They also don’t give out frequent customer cards unless you are signed up for email or text receipts. I wish they had told us this fact before we declined the email receipt and got a paper one. The servers were friendly and nice though and I have no other problems with service at Pitango!

I had seen on their website that they had lemon and granny smith apple sorbets and was eager to try those. I also figured that if they didn’t have them I could indulge in my consistent sorbet favorite- strawberry. They didn’t have any flavors that I really wanted to try so we did order strawberry. I was very bothered with it from the beginning. It had an overly sweet and fake taste to it. I enjoyed the texture of the sorbet but I couldn’t get past the flat, fake-sweet flavor. I was very disappointed.

The chocolate hazelnut gelato was wonderful. It had a lovely texture and a robust nutty flavor. I loved that the chocolate was sweet but mellow. And the hazelnut provided just the right amount of unctuousness and slight bitter taste that was wonderfully balanced. I enjoyed my gelato as much as I didn’t like my sorbet.

Pitango Gelato is definitely not a cheap place to get a frozen treat from. I was a little surprised at the prices. I don’t mind paying more for a product that I think is superior in taste and quality. But, I was really disappointed with my sorbet. I would still love to try the granny smith apple but I think I’ll ask for a sample first next time. I might try another of their gelatos as they are tasty (if pricy) but only when they have the apple sorbet I’m looking for!

Strawberry Sorbet- 1

Chocolate Hazelnut Gelato- 8

Overall Rating- 3

Chocolate Hazelnut Gelato

He Said:  Pitango Gelato

Kari and I love ice cream.  Scooped or soft serve, yogurt or sorbet, and even gelato are all favorites of ours.  We happened to be near the Reston location of Pitango Gelato (there are also locations in Penn Quarter, Logan Circle, Capitol Hill, and Baltimore) the other day, and thought we’d give it a try.

The inside looked nice and clean, and we never had any reason to doubt the cleanliness of our servers.  Very well done.  Since it was a nice day, we ate outside, so I didn’t pay too much attention to the interior.  I did notice that they have opted to use mobile payment methods (the square, attached to an iPad) instead of traditional bulkier cash registers, and can email you your receipt instead of printing it out if you wish.  Pretty cool stuff.  The sizes were also very well done.  At first I thought the cups looked small. Once they were done packing the sweet stuff in there, I was still a little dubious, but half way through our treats, I was convinced they offer just the right size.

We ordered their chocolate hazelnut gelato and their strawberry sorbet.  I liked the strawberry much better.

I would still rate the chocolate hazelnut positively, but the flavor didn’t feel as genuine as the strawberry.  Maybe this is a personal hang-up, but my mouth kept expecting a pure hazelnut taste, and the chocolate was interrupting it.  The chocolate did taste excellent.  It was very rich and creamy.  Then the hazelnut shows up to the party, and you get the delicious nuttiness you were hoping for.  I’ll probably like it even more next time, but this time try as I might that mouth kept expecting a solo instead of the duet.

The strawberry tastes very fresh and is very subtle and mellow.  You get that strawberry taste and nothing else to add extra sweetening or other textures or flavors.  Which is great.  It’s very relaxing.

I was tons of other flavors that I wanted to try, so we’ll definitely go back sometime.


Chocolate Hazelnut-7