We hope you’re staying cool in this Tri-Cities heat wave. To help you out, we’re sharing a review of the Port Coquitlam restaurant Matteo’s Gelato.
The Scoop on Real Gelato
Do you know the difference between ice cream and gelato? I knew there was a difference but I was unsure exactly what it was aside from the Italian word for ice cream. It turns out there is actually a fundamental difference and that getting the real thing is really worth it. I recently visited Matteo’s Gelato, a Port Coquitlam restaurant, bistro and gelato bar, to get the ‘scoop’, if you’ll pardon the pun.
Matteo’s Gelato is on Mary Hill Road across from the courthouse in downtown PoCo and sports a great little patio, reminiscent of a sidewalk cafe on an Italian piazza. I visited in the evening to indulge a late dessert craving and ran into others wishing to similarly indulge. An impromptu conversation with the other patrons overlooking the brightly coloured tubs reinforced my observation that the selection of flavours was varied and plentiful. Each of us eagerly accepted a small taster spoon of whichever flavour caught our fancy and made sure each morsel was carefully consumed. Of the group assembled at the counter, the only consensus was that they were all delicious and that there was not an easy choice to be made. In the end it was the siren song of the chocolate and peanut butter that won over my taste buds. According to owner Matt, I’m not alone in my love for the chocolate and peanut butter combo as that is his best seller by three times the next closest flavour.
Passion for his Craft
While keeping up with my dripping cone, Matt invited me to see the small room off to the side where he makes the gelato. Matt was genial and displayed an obvious passion for his craft as he discussed flavours and spoke of the ingredients used to create his products. He also introduced me to the machine that churns out the final product that’s bringing people into this Port Coquitlam restaurant.
In less detail than Matt’s expert explanation, let me explain how gelato is made. The flavouring, milk and ingredients go in the top, are heated to fully dissolve, thoroughly mix and re-pasturize. Next the ingredients are mixed with air – and here is the crucial part – to make the correct consistency. Soft ice cream has the most air and almost doubles in volume, ice cream has a bit less air and grows in volume by a bit more than half, and gelato increases by about 30%. That’s why gelato is a little more expensive than your average ice cream and also why artisan gelato is so rich, creamy and flavourful.
Coming Full Circle by Opening a Port Coquitlam Restaurant
Matt told me he felt that he had ‘come full circle’ in opening Matteo’s Gelato. He recalls scooping ice cream at fairs and rodeos across Western Canada starting at eight years old, then working as a rep for the company that makes gelato machines. Consulting for gelateria owners across Western Canada then led to the opening of Matteo’s Gelato. All in all, Matt brings 35 years in the frozen dessert business to his side of the counter…I know I’ll be back on my side of the counter to order more sometime soon.
Matteo’s Gelato offers more than just artisan gelato. You’ll also find bistro pannini, soups and salads at this Port Coquitlam restaurant.
2615 Mary Hill Road, Port Coquitlam