Pinolo gained the attention of local frozen confection fans soon after it opened in the summer of 2015. A few months later, I wrote that it “immediately took over as the best gelato in town—and the others are not even close.” This statement is no less true today than it was eight years ago. The biggest change from then to now is that you might have to wait in line for your Pinolo fix during peak summer hours (still, the lines down the street tend to be laughably longer for a certain inferior, though brilliantly marketed product). Best of all are Pinolo’s dairy-free fresh fruit sorbettos, which taste just like the fruits from which they are derived. It all starts with founder and proprietor Sandro Paolini, who hails from Pisa. Though there is surely more to his magic than meets the eye, two fundamentals tie together all his remarkable fruit flavors. First, Pinolo’s sorbettos go easy on the sugar, letting the complex natural sweetness and other characteristics of the fruits speak for themselves. Second, Paolini is fanatical about seasonality, meaning that the flavors you find are likely to come from the crops available at a local farmers market. The downside is that if you blink, you may find that your favorite variety has come and gone. A few to look out for as the seasons circle: strawberry with elderflower, sour cherry, champagne mango, peach, melon with mint and blood orange. If you don’t see what you want the first time, wait a few days.
3707 SE Division St., 503-719-8686, pinologelato.com. Noon-9 pm Sunday and Wednesday-Thursday, noon-10 pm Friday-Saturday. $3.95-$6.50 (scoops), $7.95 (pints).