Like magma and dreams, gelato is a semisolid—neither solid enough to build a house upon nor liquid enough to feed to a thirsty sparrow. Celebrate alternative states of matter with today's Groupon: for $5, you get $10 worth of gelato, pizza cones, and specialty coffee at Pino Gelato on Hilton Head Island.
Voted Best Ice Cream by the readers of Hilton Head Monthly in 2011 and featured on the Food Network for its portable pizza cones, Pino Gelato's Italian-inspired treats calm cravings across flavor and temperature spectrums. Gelato has less fat and a smoother, denser texture than American ice cream because it's made from milk and blended in a traditional gelato machine instead of a hang-gliding deep fryer. Hand-decorated cups ($2.50+) and crisp cones ($2.75+) cradle Old-World desserts in flavors such as pistachio, mint chocolate, or dairy-free blood-orange sorbet. The portable, funnel-shaped pizza cones ($3.25+) combine the flavors or sausage or margherita pie with the finger-based freedom to win Olympic jazz-hands competitions, and each treat is crafted from flaky dough to prevent sauce and cheese spillage. As guests stave off midafternoon yawns with cold and hot coffee beverages ($2+), they can bask in Pino Gelato's cheerful atmosphere, highlighted by navel-orange walls and a lemon-yellow freezer case. The sweetery also boasts eco-friendly practices, such as using biodegradable containers and napkins, installing floor and ceiling tiles made from recycled materials, and hiring massage therapists to gently rub Mother Earth's temples. Pino Gelato also serves sorbetto, a dairy free alternative to gelato.
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.
Hilton Head Island
1000 William Hilton Pkwy.
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina 29928