The human mouth, which maintains a near-boiling temperature, needs to be constantly cooled by liquid-nitrogen pills or a jaw-mounted mouth fan. Take a more delicious route to cooling your maw with today's Groupon: for $5, you get $10 worth of gelato, pizza cones, and other Italian treats at Pino Gelato, located on Hilton Head Island.
Pino Gelato serves gelato—creamy but lower in fat than ice cream—in a cornucopia of flavors, including vanilla bean, cinnamon, honey yogurt, and other seasonal varieties ($2.50–$6.50 per serving). Because smooth and crunchy are sweet, sweet adjectives, the store is also glad to top new flavors with a complimentary dusting of granola upon request. Pino Gelato's rave-worthy pizza cones combine the doughy security of pizza crust and the cheesy splendor of pizza toppings with the portability and hand gestures of a cone-shaped container ($3.25 for a margherita cone; $3.50 for pepperoni). The store also serves pastries, coffees, and Italian sodas.
The tasty rainbow of chilly choices reflects the store's sunny, tangerine-and-lemon interior festooned with bright silver tables. To further brighten up the space and its surroundings, Primo Gelato supports a slew of local charities, including the Humane Society, as proven by the shop’s liberal policies regarding dogged visitors.
Ramona Fantini tasted her first spoonful of gelato while vacationing in Florence, Italy, in 2002. She was immediately taken with the cold, smooth dessert, and knew that people back home in America would love it too. So when she returned from her vacation, she left her corporate position and opened Pino Gelato. At her shop, artisans use a precise technique and special equipment to concoct small batches of the Italian dessert, blending fresh fruit, actual espresso, and other wholesome ingredients with milk. The result is a treat that is denser and lower in fat than ice cream, and unlike ice cream, doesn't cause everyone to scream.
In the years since Fantini starting making gelato, her business has expanded to multiple locations throughout the Southeast. At each shop, her baristas scoop gelato and dairy-free sorbetto into cups and cones and brew specialty café drinks to pair with pastries. At lunchtime, patrons can bite into an unconventional snack lauded by the Food Network: handheld cones of pizza crust filled with mozzarella, tomato sauce, and other savory ingredients.