Spring fever? Get gelato at Spuntino

It's been spring for weeks, but afternoons like this -- afternoons when it's a perfect 71 degrees and sunny -- make it extremely hard for us to stay indoors without losing our sanity. And right about this time of day, we start looking for any excuse we can get to leave the office.

Our reason du jour to make a break for it: the gelato at Spuntino, the spot that John Broening and Yasmin Lozada-Hissom took over, remodeled and reopened not even a month ago.

Spuntino has always had gelato, and Broening and Lozada-Hissom have worked hard to expand the offerings beyond frozen treats and into restaurant fare -- and they've been successful. When we dropped in, several parties were lunching on salads, sandwiches and soup, paying their check without even a glance at the dessert menu.

But we're glad that Lozada-Hissom chose to up the ante on the gelato instead of ditching it, because any scoop from that case is incredible. Ethereally light and decadently creamy, the rotating flavors are made with seasonal ingredients and good chocolate. We loved the amaretto, which was buttery smooth and lightly almond-y. But the sea salt chocolate caramel is one of the best things we've ever put in our mouths, period: a sweet, milky caramel base topped with a thin layer of soft dark chocolate and sprinkled with flaky sea salt. It's not unlike the Lozada-Hissom's chocolate caramel tart on the menu at Olivea; each bite was a decadent explosion of sweet, salty and bitter, and by the time we'd scraped our tiny silver dish clean, we only wanted more.

Fortunately, you can buy that gelato in a packed pint. You know, for the office mates who are still stuck inside.

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