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Mar 13, 2012 06:08 PM

GTA Gelato Wars 2012

We always go to La Paloma but truly enjoyed Il Gelatiere.
I know this goes along with the "best pizza" or "best burger" discussions.
DH LOVES pistachio, bright green, nutty flavour.

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  1. Have you tried the gelato at San Remo Bakery and at Dolce on Danforth Ave? Both have pistachio gelato that I like.

    4 Replies
    1. re: foodyDudey

      Personally I find both the pistachio and banana chocolate to be excellent at Boreal on Queen W.

      1. re: justsayn

        Never heard of Boreal. Will look them up too.

      2. re: foodyDudey

        Never been to either. I heard San Remo has excellent baked goods too.

        1. re: itryalot

          San Remo's awesome at everything. I quite like Arte Gelato near Bloor/Ossington. It's across the street from Bakerbots and has good flavours.

      3. Below is a list of gelaterias in TO

        La Paloma
        Il Gelatiere Artigianale
        .Gelato Simply Italian
        Mad Italian
        Hotel Gelato
        Hollywood Gelato
        Ed's Real Scoop
        Soma Chocolate
        Arte Gelato
        Carnevale Di Venezia
        Froshberg Gelato
        G for Gelato
        Sicilian Sidewalk Cafe
        The Village Scoop

        All of these are locations that I have frequented or at least heard about, however, there are probably more that do not immediately come to mind. Also, I am sure that there are a tonne of other bakeries and pasticcerias that will also sell gelato (e.g. San Remo, Nino D'Aversa, etc) but for now, this list should be enough to get you started.

        And my personal favourite is Gelato Simply Italian. It is one of the more expensive places, but given the quality, location, and the enthusiasm of the owner, I don't mind dropping a few coins here.

        19 Replies
        1. re: Lazar

          When it's on, Simply Italian's pistachio is the best, bar none. The freshness of the pistachios carries through so well and the vibrancy is in your face. Boreal, Soma, Ti Amo (Yonge north of Major Mac) - prolly in that order, from last year - are good too. il Gelatiere's may still be fine. Ventisette otherwise makes high quality versions like their chocolate and coffee, but pistachio was more of a whiff. Ed's has a good product. Hollywood is okay depending on which flavour. Arte sounds promising. La Paloma, Dolce, Sicilian Sidewalk and some of the others do not compare at all.

            1. re: Chester Eleganté

              Simply Italian - some place I need to visit in a month or so when I am there next. Pistachio is that good; looking forward to it.

              1. re: itryalot

                ..and the limone, and the caffe, and the non-dairy chocolate, and so on. basically the old gelatiere flavours.

                1. re: Chester Eleganté

                  LOVE the non-dairy dark chocolate at Simply Italian

            2. re: Lazar

              After reading all these reviews, I had to look it up - now I realize that's the place I've been to a couple of times on Yonge near Davisville (I think the "simply Italian" must be in smaller print - I only ever noticed the non-distinguishing name of "Gelato").

              I always get a little overwhelmed in gelato spots - many of the names and flavours aren't as familiar to me, never mind the range of options, and I usually take a lot more time to make my decision than in a regular ice cream joint (unless I default to my usual nocciola). Anyway, I've seen the owner and staff here get questioned a lot as to best combos and they take it very seriously - asking first a few questions to try and narrow down the options, then offering both more familiar and more curious combinations. They've yet to steer me wrong and you can sense their passion for the product. Last time, I had a dark chocolate gelato combined with a frutti di bosco yoghurt - fantastic.

              1. re: Lazar

                Lazar, the only one on this list that I haven't heard about yet is Carnevale Di Venezia. Since my husband is from around Venice, I would love to take him. Can you please give me some more info on where it is located and whether you liked it?

                1. re: icey

                  Hey icey, Carnevale Di Venezia is at 2494 Yonge St. Right next door to the Capitol Theatre. It is that small little place that you will miss if you blink while driving by it.

                  Unfortunately, it is one of the places on my list that I haven't yet tried (along with VentiSette, Boreal, Arte and Froshberg) so I can't give an opinion.

                  Also, I am biased, because I hold everything up to Simply Gelato as to what I consider the Toronto standard for quality, consistency, and flavour (we all know that it is one of the more pricier ones, so I won't even mentione it here). But, Simply Gelato is from Rome, so not sure if there will be a regional difference that your husband may enjoy more (sorry, I am not very well travelled)

                  1. re: Lazar

                    I had tried the pistachio at Carnevale Di Venezia (not sure it was called that then) many moons ago and it was the best that I had tasted. The gelato was a deep, woody-green pistachio nut colour (not fluorescent green) and the taste was very nutty and not too sweet. However, it seemed to me that the ownership had changed since then and I haven't been back, so the quality may not be the same. Also not sure if they make the gelato there.

                    1. re: Degustation

                      DH is a sucker for anything pistachio. Need to get some!

                    2. re: Lazar

                      Finally tried VentiSette. Very disappointed. Tried the Sicilian Blood Orange, and it tasted like a dried out orange, very little flavour. So opted for a small cup with Lemon and Chocolate. I am not quite sure how to describe the lemon. The flavour reminded me of that awful no-name lemon pie filling, and the consistency was "gooey". The chocolate was the real disappointment. The first taste was awesome for a split milli-second. A rich dark chocolate flavour that almost immediately dispersed from my tongue. It was replaced with an essence of what could have been chocolate. The worst thing was the consistency/texture. I don't know quite know how it can be done, but I would have thought it impossible for gelato to be dry. I mean really dry, chaulky even. I was left with the sensation of a mouthful of stale cocoa

                      Well, next up I plan to try Carnevale De Venezia, which I noticed has changed their name to Cafe Gelato, but they were closed yesterday.

                      1. re: Lazar

                        Il Gelatiere on Mount Pleasnt is as good (if not better than) Simply Gelato. in fact, Alessandro (of Simply) started out as a partner in Il Gelatiere before parting ways and opening his own joint.

                        For me, they both have the best gelato in terms of quality and consistency , but Il Gelatiere has more creative flavours and does smaller batches which means fresher product and faster flavour turns.

                        1. re: meatnveg

                          I've found Il G and Simply to be equally fresh product, apart from the rancid pine nuts I've encountered in the Maria at Il G last year. I think it was probably a result of using cheap pine nuts, and not tasting the nuts before making the batch. Hopefully they're tasting their nuts before each batch this summer.

                          My favourite fruit gelato this summer is the Passionfruit at Simply Italian. Pairs nicely with their chocolate.

                          I think I'm over spicy chocolate.

                          I also like the gelati at Soma, and like the fact you can drop any flavour into an espresso to make an affogato.

                    3. re: Lazar

                      Red Bean Espresso (High Park/Bloor)

                      They've been carrying Gelato since last summer.

                      1. re: Lazar

                        I have to mention my unfortunate service experience with Simply Italian - the gelato was great, we're just talking about the service here. So there's three of us and we go up to the display case to place our order (we just wanted take-out and weren't going to sit down). There's a group in front of us, and a group behind us. Two girls, Girl A and Girl B, are behind the counter.

                        The group in front of us gets served by Girl A, and they order a few espresso-based drinks for dine-in. Girl B asks, "Who's next?" I wave to her and say "hi". Girl B says, "She (Girl A) will serve you," and attends to the group behind us, who order gelato. We are puzzled, but say nothing.

                        Girl B finishes with her customers. It becomes clear that Girl A is still busy making lattes, so we try again to get served by Girl B. Girl B says again, "She (Girl A) will help you," and attends to the next group that has queued up behind us, who again order gelato. Now we are vexed and more than a bit annoyed.

                        Girl A is still making drinks. Girl B finishes with her second set of customers. Finally (on our third attempt to place our order), a member of my party says to Girl B, "Are you ready now? Can we get some service?" Girl B says nothing, but shrugs and nods. We place our orders, pay, take our gelato and get out of Dodge.

                        Did I miss something? I want to return to this place. The gelato was really good.

                        1. re: Wench Foraday

                          Was this the Yorkville or Davisville location? I've found the Davisville location to be less flaky.

                          1. re: prima

                            It was the Davisville location, and flaky is right...

                            1. re: prima

                              I've never had bad service at the Yorkville location. The guys there are very nice and as conversational as you want to be with them.

                              1. re: LTL

                                OK - will try Yorkville location next time (it's closer anyways)!

                        2. The original comment has been removed
                          1. My personal go to's are "Il Gelatiere" and "Arte".

                            I was terribly disappointed w/ my one Boreal visit, overpriced and crystallized.

                            Never been to Simply Italian but will have to check it out as the summer approaches.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: aser

                              I second Il Gelatiere. Their nocciola gelato is ridiculous.

                            2. My favorite is Dessert Trends on Harbord. Every flavor I've tried is excellent.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: principessa del pisello

                                I have tried all the gelato places discussed above and all are good with different strengths but I am currently enjoying Ventisette. I find the 70% chocolate amazing (a strong chocolate flavour with a smooth finish) and the vanilla is the real thing with vanilla specks throughout (creamy and flavourful without being too bland). They only have a dozen selections so far but wil be adding a dozen more in the coming weeks with the increased demand. Am looking forward to trying the pistachio and coffee!