A gelato shop opens its doors in October. But unlike other Pitango shops in DC, a straightforward gelateria it is not.

This is, instead, owner Noah Dan’s most ambitious project yet, with a new name (Pitango Gelato + Café). It began serving its signature locally sourced frozen treats at its sixth location on October 28 in Adams Morgan.

The new shop is a big step up from the other locations around the DMV. The frozen treats are served alongside specialty coffee, charcuterie, sandwiches, pastries and yes, prosecco (and beer) on tap.

“We are not a novelty shop,” explains owner Noah Dan. “You won't find sprinkles or blue ice cream here. On the other hand, we want to create a new customer experience. We think having more seating, merging in our bakery concept and adding some alcoholic offerings can give our customers an elevated place to hang out.”

Like Pitango’s other places, the gelato and sorbets are churned in-house. But the experience becomes multisensory, as the specialty gelato machine – an old-school, standup, brushed-chrome model imported direct from Italy – sits right at the bar so that customers can watch each small batch being made. Word is that since each batch takes only ten minutes to create, the owners may open up the space to events where people can create their very own flavors.

This location brings “production to the front of the house,” explains Dan, “and let people actually see how we make the gelato. We will start making a lot of fun stuff in front of customers.”

Pitango is now a four-meal affair: breakfast, lunch, dessert, and drinks. Early risers can set their sights on brioche sandwiches, but the major morning draw is a bespoke coffee blend made just for Pitango. Vigilante Coffee, the local roaster, crafted a custom blend to pair well with the creaminess of milks and when delicately poured over gelatos. Single-origin coffees are also available, and baristas are required to attend a training program to elevate the pouring experience.

Celebrated DC chef Alex McCoy consulted on the menu, resulting in millennial faves like avocado toast (pistachio butter, chili, sumac, radish, chives; $9.50) and other open-faced options on breads crafted every morning in Pitango’s Baltimore bakery. There’s also a bevy of fine hand-sliced Italian charcuterie, imported cheeses, and house-roasted vegetables that can either be served on sandwiches with arugula ($12-13) or on insta-worthy charcuterie boards ($12 small; $24 large). Dan is deadly serious about his meats. There’s also a farro salad topped toasted hazelnuts that’s truly right from the Italian countryside.

Regarding the new concept, Dan notes that “DC is becoming a more and more sophisticated place to operate. Today's customers have ten times the amount of culinary education than their counterparts 10-20 years ago. People care about what they are eating.”Farro salad

Speaking of insta: the café’s newest item is tailor-made for Boomerang. It’s the alcofoggato ($8), an ethereal pairing of gelato with a liquor of choice. A simple glass with two scoops is accompanied by a shot, placed neatly on a long wooden board. The customer pours it herself to desired concentration. Popular combinations thus far include berry sorbet and prosecco, as well as crema gelato and port, which results in an eye-catching chiaroscuro-effect purple-on-white swirl.

purple swirl up

The shop itself is warm and inviting, asking customers to linger over their sandwiches and scoops. Employees are happy to give samples of the gelato (grass-fed, organic, preservative-free) that feature not only local produce, but also hazelnuts and pistachios from Italian hillsides and single-origin chocolate from a company based near Turin.

Given its bar/coffeeshop/restaurant position and location in the heart of AdMo, it’ll be open late: until midnight weekends and 11pm during the week. After all, when gelato comes with a shot, there’s never a bad time to have it.