toscanini’s, praline; central square cambridge ma

when it comes to homemade ice cream, toscanini’s used to be the gold standard (some might quibble, but certainly among the top 5). it’s been awhile since i’ve been; the mothership in central square was closed while the adjacent hotel was under construction and i never made it to the east cambridge outpost. and when they finally did reopen, they were closed on mondays — my day off.

so i was thrilled when i had an appointment in central square today (tuesday). well… be careful what you wish for. the flavor selection was limited — and extremely trendy — a least to my taste. but i ordered a small hot fudge sundae with french vanilla. when the scooper pulled out a can of supermarket whipped light cream. can’t saw i was surprised things have devolved, considering the past couple of years. but CANNED WHIPPED CREAM at the place the ny times and gourmet magazine called the best ice cream in the world?!

as for the rest of the sundae, not much to say about the hot fudge because there was not enought hot fudge to judge, the ice cream was okay in flavor, but there were more than a few ice crystals.

the good new is that before my appointment, i stopped by praline, a french patisserie around the corner from tosci’s on columbia street (also closed on mondays) and had an outstanding quiche. they have a few varieties — i got the traditional ham and cheese. a small, but satisfying portion and a fair price for the quality. they also have a great selection of teas.


Good news indeed about Praline. Sad when old favorites don’t live up to your memory/past exeriences with them.

Thanks for the information about Praline. I wasn’t aware of the opening of their Cambridge location. I’ve had a lot of stuff from their Belmont store and it has all been excellent.

Pity about Tosci’s.

Toscanini was always great for their often creative flavors but the actual consistency and mouthfeel was most of the times quite underwhelming. There are/were even in the Boston area overall better places like Morano (now that was much more of a contender for world’s best gelato) or Christina’s

His brother’s Rancatore’s is our neighborhood favorite. We miss Morano! Had fantastic gelato at Anita in NYC that might be in shooting distance.


agreed that toscanni’s may not have been the best in boston, but there was a time, years if not decades ago, when the ny times and gourmet magazine, among other publications, called it the best ice cream in the world. but setting aside the consistency and mouthfeel, commercial canned whipped cream — not even from a canister with real heavy cream?! — just no!

and i, too, miss morano’s. i’m carless in somerville, and it was a real schlep to chesnut hill — always wished they were closer to town.

love christina’s, as well. wish i had more reason to be in inman square so i could stop in more often.

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Yeah, Morano is a huge loss…and the original in Hanover, NH is closed. I learned from them the secret to the getting the texture of gelato right – the right amount of air mixed in.

Rancs has some great offerings, but we still can’t get out heads around the discussion we had with the owner about the temperature of ice cream cakes. He insisted that once they freeze, they don’t get any colder regardless of the freezer temperature.

years ago, i lived in watertown, just off belmont street. rancatore’s was at the of our
street — spent a lot of time (and calories:) there.

If anyone thinks Toscanini’s has the best ice cream in the world, they owe themselves a trip to Italy. There are hundreds of gelato shops with ice cream far superior to Toscanini’s.

That’s really true of all ice creams, not just gelato. Overchurning or underchurning results in a vastly different product.

had, not has… the reports were from years, if not decades ago,