3707 SE Division St., 719-8686, pinologelato.com. Afternoons and evenings Wednesday-Saturday.
Pinolo opened only last June, but immediately took over as the best gelato in town—and the others are not even close. The equipment, many of the ingredients and even the owner—an amiable beanpole from Pisa named Sandro Paolini—are all Italian imports. The gelato here is intense, deep dark chocolate; naturally colored pistachio that tastes of fresh-roasted nuts; hazelnut as though right from the shell. Only a handful of flavors, but each is pitch-perfect. Each sorbetto is like burying your face in fresh fruit. The texture, meanwhile, is so dense it might have its own gravitational field—perfectly smooth with no discernible ice crystals.