It was a circuitous route that landed Las Vegas its best current gelato shop. Before planting his feet in a strip mall on Trop and Rainbow (that also includes the excellent neighborhood Greek joint Meraki), Franco Pati spent years in the beachside paradise of Florianópolis, Brazil, where he collaborated with his pizza-making champion wife.
The native of Italy followed his son Jean Luca to Las Vegas, where the latter studies hospitality management at UNLV and helps the former churn out the goods. “It’s an Italian tradition, dad and son working together,” Luca says. “My dad has been in the food business for over 30 years. That’s why I decided to go into hospitality, because I love the food business and I love working with Dad.”
The current business, Gelato di Milano, finds la famiglia Pati making handmade gelato and sorbet using natural, high-quality ingredients. Take, for instance, the best-selling pistachio gelato, which has a natural, light-brown appearance instead of the pastel green most Americans are used to seeing.
There are about 60 rotating options, some 25 of which are fruit-based. The lemon and basil sorbet has been the fan favorite.
Speaking of crowd pleasers, during the Golden Knights’ recent run to the Stanley Cup Final, Gelato di Milano named a flavor after the team, featuring a concoction of vanilla, graham cracker and peanut butter cookie. Not surprisingly, it often sold out.
GELATO DI MILANO 4950 S. Rainbow Blvd. #140, 702-888-1133. Daily, 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.