Authentic Gelato Shop Gives New Meaning to "Cool"

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Old world family recipes find an outlet in Berkeley California GELATO SHOP. Alberto Malvestio has brought his uncle's gelato recipes from Italy and opened an authentic and chic gelataria. Using fresh produce and artisan techniques, the result is a creamy multi sensory experience. Grand Opening is set for April 26, 2008.

Contemporary Italian dining blends classic tradition with a modern sense of style --- a rich, multi-sensory experience bringing the cool and hip together over a shared passion for authentic cuisine. Combining forward-thinking flare with the old-school attitude of sharing good food with good company, Almare Gelato Italiano offers Bay Area residents a new chic place to gather. With the Grand Opening of their 'gelateria' in Berkeley April 26, a cool, fresh taste of northern Italy comes to northern California.

Offering a savory experience for all the senses, balancing the very modern with the very traditional, Almare Gelato Italiano is family-owned and operated by husband and wife team Rebecca Soffer and Alberto Malvestio. Importing the rich tradition of authentic gelato-making from northern Italy, gelato is a personal family legacy for Malvestio, dating back over sixty years. When Malvestio decided to bring the authentic style to the States, he convinced his uncle, famous artisan Dino del Favaro, to finally share the secret family recipe and artisan techniques. What results is a delectable presentation of uncompromising flavor and a truly authentic experience.

Artisanal gelato involves a traditional process where flavor is enhanced through time and technique, a process passed on through generations. Co-owner Rebecca Soffer confirms, "we're intent on authenticity. Many people don't realize that most of the gelato made available in the States isn't the real thing.    Real gelato melts fast ---- its appearance is imperfect. It's taste is another story. Authentic gelato is full of natural flavor. What many shops call 'gelato' is actually comprised of chemicals and powders. It looks packaged and pretty, but it compromises flavor."

Intent on offering "the real thing," Malvestio chose Berkeley as the location for their shop, in part because of a shared philosophy with the progressive ideals of the Gourmet Ghetto --- a California culinary tradition where committment to high quality is key. Blending the ideals of California cuisine with the traditions of Italian artisanship, the cool confections at Almare are made on-site, fresh daily, in the shop's 'laboratorio' with only the finest ingredients, from Sicilian pistachios to local, fresh-picked fruit.

Offering a diverse and contemporary menu, Almare Gelato Italiano offers 24 flavors of gelati in addition to a selection of organic fruit sorbeto, Italian espresso, and coffee. The flavors range from the traditional classics to the modern and hip, blending old world authenticity with new world flare.

In addition to the conventional chocolate and vanilla, other unique flavors include Sweet Milk, Coconut, "After 8," Tiramisu, and "Malaga," made with raisins and marsala wine. Almare also offers two special custard gelati flavors, the richest on their menu: "Panna Cotta," with hints of cream and vanilla, and "Crema Catalana," a savory creme brulee flavor with rich caramel overtones.

Vegetarians, vegans, and the lactose-intolerant will all find full-flavored bliss at Almare. Over six fresh fruit flavors are offered daily, ranging from lemon to raspberry to banana and more. Of special note on the menu is "Ace" (pronounced 'Ah-Chay') a popular flavor combining orange, carrot, and lemon. Based on a traditional Italian fruit drink and packed with vitamins, Ace is a particularly refreshing treat.

The diet-conscious needn't fret, everything that goes into Almare gelati is all-natural and carefully selected. Authentic gelato contains only 4 - 8% butterfat, versus traditional American ice cream weighing in at 12 - 20% fat. The difference is in the ingredients, the use of cream versus milk. And unlike American ice cream, the density and richness of gelato are created from the time-honored artisan technique, not from the fat content.

The environmentally-conscious Almare customer can indulge freely as well. Malvestio and Soffer remain dedicated not only to the well-being of their customers and craft, but to the environment. Manufacturing processes and practices are environmentally-conscious and all cups and spoons are recycled.

Prices remain reasonable, starting at just 3.26 for a full two-scoop "small" cup to just over five dollars for the large with scoops of four. Waffle cones are available for an extra dollar and sampling out a new flavor is always welcome.

The grand opening of Almare Gelato on Saturday April 26 will include live Italian music, in-store displays, and a Buy-Two-Get-One-Free special on their two-scoop cup or cone, encouraging friends and family to come to the opening and enjoy gelato together.

Almare Gelato is open every day, 1 PM - 11 PM Sunday - Thursday, and 1 PM - midnight Friday and Saturday.    Centrally located in downtown Berkeley at 2170 Shattuck Avenue, between Center Street and Allston Way, Almare Gelato is conveniently located near the Downtown Berkeley Bart Station and just steps away from the UC Berkeley campus. For more information, please call (510) 649-1888 or e-mail info(at)

Buon Appetito!


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