Italian Gelato in Markham Chinese Mall
I did a search but no one seems to have raised this yet but...
Strange as it seems, an Italian gelato and pastry shop has opened up at First Markham Place at Woodbine/Hwy 7. It's called Piazza Gelateria & Cafe, located inside the mall (where you can get pirated DVD's) at the southern-most entrance where the Optical place used to be.
My Italian brother-in-law says it's the real deal as they have a store in Woodbridge as well and they may have the best Gelato in TO! But opening inside a Chinese mall? I don't know. I went there for a look and they were fairly busy on this Sunday afternoon! Didn't buy anything (too cold today for ice cream!) but picked up a brochure and found they have a website as well: http://www.piazzagelateria.com/.
Has anybody tried this place or the one in Woodbridge?
Kind of risky to open an Italian Gelateria & Cafe inside a mall where 98% of patrons are Chinese... probably as ballsy and GRANDiose as opening a dim sum restaurant in Etobicoke! ...sorry Bokchoi! ;-)
i for one think it's a smart move and think it will do very well.... even in my relatively small asian network of friends, i find the chinese are some of the most adventurous gastronomes, and are more likely than other asians (ie. koreans) to dine out - also, markham's population is growing at a phenomenal pace and places like first markham place is not just patronized by the chinese. my friends and I in the north part of town often end up eating out at chinese because it is hard to find quality non-chinese restos in markham, so this will be a welcome addition to the foodie landscape of north GTA
besides, so hard to find a decent dessert/cafe in this neck of the woods!
I tried it for the first time a few days ago, but I've only tasted the bacio and the pistachio. I can't objectively (or even subjectively) say anything just yet because when I did try it, I was suffering from a cold that put a damper on my tastebuds -- but the pistachio seemed quite decent. I may be back, but the service wasn't precisely the greatest.
The portions seem a bit small for the prices compared to Solferino, Il Gelatiere, Dolce, Soma, etc., but I may be mistaken, since it's been a while since I've been to other gelato places. By that I mean, their prices correspond roughly to other places for the respective sizes, but the size of the cups seem smaller and the way they doled it out speaks of restraint rather than abundance.
I think most cultures enjoy ice cream. I know what you are thinking...gelato is not ice cream. But what I am saying is, any place that has decent foot traffic is a good place for gelato or ice cream.
or any other kind of good snack for that matter.
Nice one, syoung - enjoyed the pun.
If the prices are good, the patrons of the mall and surrounding area will flock to it - I find. However, from reading about the comments below, me thinks that they place may not find a solid foothold if they are indeed pricier than Solferino, et al.
May have to wait until next summer to try it out - getting a bit nippy as of late. Thanks for the tip though.