July 26th, 2012 | by MATTHEW KORFHAGE Food & Drink | Posted In: Scoops' Out For Summer

Scoops' out for Summer: Day 26

Staccato Gelato

scoops out for summer logoILLUSTRATION: Casey Jarman

Our month of eating ice cream every single day continues...


Staccato Gelato
232 NE 28th Ave., 231-7100; and 1540 SE Bybee St., 517-8957, staccatogelato.com.

Price per scoop: $2.25 for a single scoop, $2.75 for a duplex, $3.50 for a triple-decker.
Most popular flavor: “People like caramel?”
The people in front of me: Tired-looking bohemian parents with two well-behaved tots in chairs, plus a six-year-old who preferred the undersides of everything.
Best for: Desperately injecting yourself with espresso while making your sugar-peaking children believe that they’re inside the set of Romper Room. (And yes, I’m well aware that your children have never heard of Romper Room. You gotta believe, too.)


Staccato Gelato—the Belmont location, anyway—looks a bit like one of Willie Wonka’s sidebar projects: a molded-plastic world of day-glo and Duplo orange, with childlike circles forming the shop’s motif.

Nonetheless, it is very much in the category of a luxury parental retreat with the kids. The shop’s IKEA-fied, ironized modernism has what I would presume to be a soothing effect on young parents now accustomed to subsuming their entire aesthetic self to the primary-colored world of children, while still maintaining full sensory overload for the reptile-brained little scamps. It is a beautifully delicate balance.

The flavors, too, are middlebrow foodie-friendly, with rotating cast that includes salt and caramel swirls and baklavas and lemon-marionberries. I have not seen such things, but its website also promises exotic lychees and malagas, blueberries tinged with rosewater.

My standards for gelato are admittedly overly high and more than a bit nostalgic—I still can’t forget that one teenaged day in Venice and the perfect cup with the perfect girl who didn’t take me seriously at all—but while every bite was pleasant (as gelato is) it didn’t have the flavor saturation I was looking for.

Gelato, more than any other dessert, has the ability to concentrate flavor seemingly more intensely than seems possible in nature. I have had apple gelato that almost made me give up apples entirely, for comparative lack of apple flavor. Staccato's gelato is a sweetly sticky distillation that's largely unimpeachable just by dint of being gelato, but among gelatos it remains unremarkable except in the creativity and homespun care brought to the flavors.

And yet: gosh, it’s still pleasant here at Staccato, and wonderfully easy on the wallet, and if the staff is a hilariously distracted bunch of young girls, they’re pleasant, too. Besides, it’s kind of sunny out today. Who could hate a marionberry?


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