After a three cone Sunday, I took a day off from nearly anything cold. Something felt missing today until the moment when I nearly stopped short in the street as I spied Rancatore’s. Usually I eat lots of chocolate, but after an incident in my car with a bar of dark chocolate and a pile of clothes on a hot afternoon, this Summer I had been opting for random fruit candy choices. That’s what led me to a Bittersweet Chocolate cone.
The first assumption that most people have about Rancatore’s is that it is just Toscanini West. With that same Helvetica font on the windows and in neon, it’s obvious that they are related. Related is exactly the right term as it is owned by Joe Rancatore, brother of Gus. There’s also another Rancatore’s shop in Lexington.
Differences run from the menu to the whole attitude of the shop itself. In Belmont, there was a conservative flavor palate with the fruits only appearing in sorbet. Even the kids flavor – Candyland – looked like someone spilled all of the potential toppings into a vat of vanilla, it wasn’t the color of cotton candy. There are also vestiges of a much older Rancatore’s shop, signs carved in wood like the one seen from the street.
I got a taste of the butter almond, but as I reported previously, my body seemed to be experiencing a need for chocolate. I made the commitment and went for the most chocolate I could get in a cone with the bittersweet chocolate. It’s a rich chocolate that was well blended with the cream giving it a uniform texture and a robust dark flavor.
Ultimately my complaint with this set up is one I have whenever encountering dark chocolates in ice cream. Once you combine a chocolate with cream it’s becoming a milk chocolate, I want a scoop that is actually as dark as the name implies. Usually it has a bolder taste than a regular chocolate, but I’d love to see someone commit and make something that replicates a great 70% bar. In reality, I think that is most likely to come as a great dark sorbet – which appeals to the same segment of the population that eats dark chocolate.
With a black and red checkerboard floor and a red counter wrapping around the front of the store, Rancatore’s seems like a 90s revival of 50s style. There are plenty of tables as well to eat at but the busy street doesn’t provide many places to wander with a cone. This seems the province of the young part of the Belmont population while the Brigham’s up the street is where the white hairs congregate.
Cone – micro $2.60 small $3.75 medium $4.60 large $5.20
Sundae – micro $4.25 small $5.50 medium $6.00 large $7.50
Frappe – small $3.60 large $5 extra thick $6.25 malt $5.75
other review: Rancatore’s in Lexington
Rancatore’s Ice Cream
Open year round