As a small Kendra, I hated ice cream and all ice-cream related desserts. When my family would go out for it, I’d dump my scoops out and just eat the cone. In high school I was such a weirdo that the only way I’d eat ice cream was if I microwaved it (I have witnesses!).
Nowadays, I find myself thinking about Pitango Gelato quite a bit. It’s really that good. It wasn’t the first thing that converted me over to the frozen side (that’d be my college Bruster’s and its banana split special), but it’s the first place to offer frozen goodies that I actively lust over (it makes my boyfriend jealous when he knows I’m going out for it, but only because he wants in on the action).
Multiple Locations: DC (Logan’s Circle & Penn Quarter), Reston (Town Center) and Baltimore (Fell’s Point), as well as a presence at various farmer’s markets; local to Baltimore
We visited: 413 7th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004
Transit: Pitango falls between Chinatown and Archives, and is not an unpleasant walk from the Mall.
Seating: Limited bench-style seating indoors & some outdoors. The nearby Navy Memorial plaza also provides public seating in benches by the fountains.
Sweets: It’s all about the gelato (& sorbet), though there are biscotti & other Italian cookies in bags by the register.
Drinks: Coffee, affogato (shot of espresso and scoop of gelato), drinking chocolate (seasonal)
Otherwise Notable: Late hours, open till midnight Friday and Saturday, 11pm otherwise. Organic ingredients, with clear information provided about the sources.
Kat: I always like gelato, and I always enjoy visiting Pitango. My go-to flavors are Sicilian Almond, which any marzipan-fiend will enjoy, and the unassuming Crema, described as ‘Italian custard’ and tasting of lemony cake batter. These are both creamy, back-of-the-tongue flavors and go best with a sharper accompaniment as the second scoop.
Kendra: I’ve had my fair share of middling gelatos, with their bits of ice muddling it up, and Pitango is nothing but creamy smoothness. Or smooth creaminess? They let you choose two flavors for a regular size, which is great since it means that a.) you can get your favorite and still try something new, and b.) you can pull a Jelly Belly and create fun concoctions that alter the flavors in ways you wouldn’t expect. This past time, I had espresso and cardamom, which pair in a deliciously bittersweet way. Since they allow you to sample any of their flavors, you have no one to blame but yourself if you end up with something you don’t like. I can’t choose a favorite flavor (they’re like children!), but I’m partial to Chocolate Hazelnut (it’s like eating nutella without the guilt of your roomate finding you spooning gobs of it from the jar into your mouth) and Crema. I’d recommend trying the Chocolate Noir sorbet if only for the shock that a sorbet can somehow be that rich and dreamy.