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Best canoli?

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  1. Modern pastry, Modern Pastry and Maria's in the North End

    1. Have been disapponted with the quality of the canoli at Modern on my last few trips. Shells don't seem as crisp, ricotta filling seemed too sweet, and the texture wasn't as delicate as before. Has anyone else noticed a difference in the last month or so or was that sporadic bad luck?

      4 Replies
      1. re: limster

        A friend and I did a cannoli taste test in the North End a bit ago. We made score sheets and everything. :) Maria's came in first, followed by Modern. Mike's was in third (we found them to be too sweet).

        We may have to redo this, though, if Modern's cannoli has changed recently...

        1. re: limster

          i am right with you on the decline of the Modern cannoli. suprisingly i have been finding excellent cannolis at Cafe Vittoria. CV used to be my spot for coffees and such but their cannolis seem to have that old Modern touch.

        2. We had cannoli from Modern this past weekend - I agree that they've been trending too sweet recently, but these were back on track - hurray!

          I also gave in to a weird craving for a rum baba, something I used to love when I was a kid but have found too wet and way too sweet as an adult. This one wasn't bad - less soggy than usual, and the pastry has a pleasant yeast tang. It could have stood a tad more of the pastry cream filling.

          We also stopped at Lulu's for a couple of plain yellow-cake cupcakes - DH's craving - but were bitterly disappointed after several good experiences there. He said his was stale and the frosting was pure Crisco. He was so emphatic that I threw mine away without even tasting it. I've promised to make it up to him with a jumbo cupcake from Party Favors today.

          1. I too like Maria's over Mike's and Modern (though visually Mike's is the clear winner). My favorite, though I've only tried it once, is Napoli's (also in the North End). I just felt like Napoli's ricota was significantly richer than at the other places. I also like that they have small cannolis for $1.50.

            NB: don't get the powdered sugar if you're going to eat it outside!

            1 Reply
            1. re: fenian

              Napoli uses a ricotta filling made from sheep's milk which is more complex than the usual filling and definitely has a tinge of sheep flavour; it looks like they import theirs from Italy. They don't fill to order, so the canoli aren't as crispy as they should be.

              The one's at Lulu are also pretty good, but very pricey. The ones at Caffe Dello Sport is decent. Haven't tried the ones at Gelateria yet.

            2. Believe it or not some of the Whole Foods have cannoli and they fill it on order. I know the Whole Foods at the Fenway does this. There is also a place called Holy Cannoli in Worcester that does a lot of unconventional versions and I myself have not had one but they sound quite interesting. I think I saw something on either Food Diner or Phantom Gourmet about them.

              5 Replies
              1. re: bostonfoodie111

                Never knew there was a Whole Foods in that area! Cool!

                1. re: mabelm4050

                  Symphony WHOLE FOODS
                  15 Westland Ave
                  Boston, MA 02115
                  Phone: 617.375.1010
                  Fax: 617.375.0169

                  It is small but mighty. :)

                2. re: bostonfoodie111

                  Wholly Cannoli is pretty great--authentic italian cookies and the straight-up ricotta cannolis are good (plus they have the little ones too). They also have the unconventional flavors you mention (pumpkin, tiramisu cannolis). They also have something called the Thunderstick--which is ricotta filling coated with chcocolated and rolled in crushed nuts. I have never had one-but I have heard they sell out pretty quickly most days.

                    1. re: lotus_blossom

                      I agree; Wholly Cannoli is the best if you can make your way out to Worcester. Their cannolli with pistachio flavored filling is my favorite. The one you're referring to is the Dynamite Stick, which is really overly sweet and can/ should feed 3 people, not 1.

                  1. If you don;t want to go to the North End, try Arturo's in Medford (Main Street near Harvard). they fill to order and both the pastry and filling are good.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: gourmaniac

                      Second that and to clarify: the sign says Arthur's Pastry Shop, and it's near the intersection with Harvard, near Oasis, Bocceli's, etc. Also Modern has a branch in Medford Sq. (have not tried cannoli).

                    2. I live in the medford area and have known the people at ARTHURS PASTRY SHOP for a long time. i would also agree that their cannoli is very good. the ricotta filling is made very well, but they big thing for me is that they make the shell from scratch and fill to order to assure that crispy taste

                      1 Reply
                      1. hands down -- la contessa bakery in davis square.

                        1. Since I don't have a recipe, I'll weigh in on the original topic: think the mini-cannoli at Domenic's Italian Bakery in Waltham are excellent.

                          1. Tripolis in Lawrence is excellent but my favorite are from Fiscichelli's in Lawrence....which sadly is almost impossible to find unless you're from there.