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Jul 1, 2006 07:40 PM

Solferino Cafe - gelato

Went to Solferino for gelato and sorbetto on Friday afternoon, and I have to say it was really really good! The staff was really nice, and offering you a taste of whatever you wanted.
On another thread we discussed the pisatchio gelato at Hollywood, and I have to say the one at Solferino was excellent. It had a light brown colour, with pistachio pieces, and was delicious. Definitley give it a try if you do/don't like it at Hollywood. Blood orange, tangerine, and avocado were also great! I thought the gelato here was all smooth, creamy and delicious. I will definitley be going back often.

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  1. I love Solferino as well. There was a write-up about the owner a few days ago, in the Star I think. I prefer their gelato to Hollywood. Homemade taste over appearance, I say.

    1. i quite enjoyed solferino as well. the pistachio was a proper ground pistachio colour and there was texture from the ground nuts in it as well to add to it's authenticity. the texture is absolutely amazingly creamy that i've become addicted.

      i've found some of their flavours to be fairly mild (discluding some of the fruit gelatos/sorbettos), but considering my tastebuds might be used to the overly intense flavours of supermarket ice creams, i'm fine with that.

      1. Wanted to bring back this thread. I've been to Solferino and really enjoyed it. I had the Belgian chocolate with orange and it was OMG heavenly! I tried the pistachio too. While it was tasty and authentic, it was a bit rich for my health-conscious tastebuds. The staff are very friendly. I hope this place does well. The setting isn't very cozy (glass and chrome), but for some reason I enjoyed passing time there the way I hope to at a Second Cup or Timothy's.

        1. I completely agree...I love Solferino as well. I tried their "Staff Favourite" gelato a few weeks was chocolate-pepperoncino, and it was delicious with just the right spice level, and combined with the rich dark chocolate, it was a great combo. I also really like their Avocado flavour,& Belgian chocolate orange. I heard that they were a really slow in the winter, and I feel bad because I love that place. I went there for their homemade chili, and it was pretty good. They also have great teas and espresso.

          1. Solferino has cut back on the number of flavours they sell. When I went last week with friends who hadn't gone before, they noticed the walls have cards advertising about 50 flavours, but they actually serve far fewer varieties on a rotating basis. Ones I recall the staff mentioning were no longer available included lychee, guava, watermelon and wasabi chocolate. They explained to me that some of them were too labour intensive as they make everything from scratch (e.g. peeling individual lychees!).

            9 Replies
            1. re: gnuf

              There was a news item about Solferino a couple of weeks ago. It seems they are losing money like mad and the partner who actually made the gelato has left. This could explain the flavour situation. I believe the remaining partner is a lawyer - not an ice cream person or other kind of food professional. This doesn't augur well for their future, especially if he was funding the place from his law practice and is now making gelato instead.

              1. re: embee

                I'd hate for this to be true. I love Solferino! True, I've noticed they're not as experimental with their flavours as they used to be, but I still enjoy going there.

                1. re: merlot143

                  Here's the link to the above mentioned article:

                  I live in the neighbourhood and live on this stuff in the summer - it's not promising to hear about the debt and ownership change.... hopefully the warmer weather will bring in more customers!

                  1. re: foodie_wannabe

                    Pretty sad if they were to go under, for they make a damn good gelato. Additionally, it's a sweet place to hang out - fairly roomy, comfy benches, really friendly and attentive employees, Satchmo playing in the background...

                    The banana gelato tastes beautifully full and ripe, the avocado charmingly retains both the smooth texture and taste (sweeter, natch) of the fruit itself, the Ferrero is inundated with flecks of the hazelnut delight, etc.

                    1. re: foodie_wannabe

                      Solferino closing would indeed be a cryin' shame. They have excellent products... love the hazelnut and the avocado. With the park and fountain across the street, the neighbourhood pretty much needs this place to survive and thrive.

                      1. re: foodie_wannabe

                        I'm not so sure about this as I walk by every day and business is quite good. There is often a lineup of people waiting. Plus the prices aren't exactly cheap ($7 w/ tax lg 3 flavours), more than hollywood and la paloma if i recall. Although I'm sure business takes a big hit in winter.

                        I just had some a few hrs ago, addicted to their passion fruit. The only thing I don't understand is their tendency to blast the a/c. It's cold enough considering I'm already eating gelato.

                        1. re: aser

                          Yup it's always busy when I see it. Business drops during the winter, big time, but they still have some customers. In the summer, they increase their hours. Restaurant business is tough, but they seem to have hung in there for a few years.

                          wanted to add: my favorite is the Belgian Orange Chocolate. Heaven in a cup! I also like mint chocolate, moccachino, blackberry sorbetto, hazelnut and pistachio. Bloor orange and raspberry sorbettos weren't great but still good.

                          1. re: merlot143

                            Reading about Solferino's financial troubles gives me just the excuse I need to go there more often. I'd hate to see them go under since popping down the street for gelato is one of my favourite treats. I noticed a sign in the window promoting their coffee so I'll make a point of trying a latte next time I'm by.

                            1. re: merlot143

                              Sorry, I meant blood orange.
                              Still there are enough flavours for a trip this week, esp. now that it's hot and humid out.