Coletta is scooping up gelato in SOMA

Anyone who has visited Italy will always remember the sights and, of course, the gelato.

There’s something about Italian gelato, the rich and gooey texture and the often colorful and interesting flavors. It’s hard to find anything similar outside of Italy (although the gelato in Argentina, known as helado, comes pretty close).

Now I might not have to travel that far for good gelato with the recent opening of Coletta Gelato. The six-week-old shop, whose contemporary and handsome design sticks out in a grey block of Harrison Street in SOMA, serves up small-batch gelato, with only a few flavors because it’s all about quality over quantity here.

It’s a new venture for business partners Antonio Massimini and Henri Waltenspuhl (both have Italian blood, Massimini via Venezuela and Waltenspuhl via Switzerland). They studied gelato-making in Italy and decided on San Francisco as the place for Coletta because they knew the food-focused Bay Area would appreciate good gelato.

Partners Antonio Massimini, left, and Henri Waltenspuhl want to bring authentic Italian gelato to San Francisco.

Gelato and sorbetto are made fresh daily. For the gelato, they use Clover Organic products.

When I dropped in for a visit, I tried an Irish Coffee gelato along with a Milk Tea gelato flavored with tea from the local Red Blossom. The texture had that goey rich stretch like Italian gelato, but there were also a bit more air in it giving it almost a fluffiness. Massimini said they make the gelato fresh every day to make sure you never get a taste of gelato with icy threads. Another popular flavor is the gianduia (chocolate and hazelnut), and there’s always a couple of sorbetto like strawberry and kiwi.

While the location seems like it’s off the beaten path, it is right off of Third so I can see how it will get packed after a Giants game.

The deets: Coletta Gelato, 685 Harrison St., San Francisco. PH: 415.795.3170. Open Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 9 p.m.

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