It’s amazing how cluttered the map inside 128 is when I look at ice cream places that we’ve visited for this blog. Most of the places that I haven’t been to are alternate locations for places that we have been. Googling “ice cream near watertown,” it took until page 5 of entries that I spied this sweets shop in Lexington where I found a White Chocolate With Peanut Butter gelato.
These storefronts are the height of unassuming, in the midst of very residential Lexington, with a cleaning business on one side and a realty agency with no one working on a Wednesday afternoon on the other. With ornate yet simple patterns and a remarkable air of cleanliness, it’s easy to tell that this is a new shop to the area. The sort of place that’s seemingly meant to be in a place like Lexington or else in the middle of a city center hell bent on gentrification.
Inside the shop is small, with a short, japanese-style bench in the front window, and a counter spanning the width of the room. Outside there are a few benches arrayed to imply a space for gathering, though if someone you don’t know is already sitting down there, it seems a bit as though you’re invading their space by sitting at all. The sidewalk is wide, but there’s nowhere to walk with houses close by on either side, and sitting really is ideal when a gelato shop doesn’t offer cones.
The food options here are oddly limited, but what there is all seems pretty astounding. The fact I don’t drink coffee allows me to skip over half of the menu, but everything under the glass case seems far too appetizing. While there are twenty or so options for fresh gelato, the other half of the case is devoted to traditional macaron (not macaroon) cookies in a wild assortment of colors and flavors. I give a taste to the caramel brownie and the chocolate gelato, but it is the white chocolate with peanut butter that is by far the most compelling.
White chocolate is always tough to master, but here they have it right with the white chocolate being the flavor of the ice cream. The sweet and the cocoa butter dominate the taste so you can tell this is no knock off that you might find molded into the shape of a bunny on a convenience store shelf the three weeks on either side of Easter. The strong white chocolate flavor is fantastically balanced by small clusters of peanut butter that bleed into the surrounding flavor. I may always complain about not getting a cone when I head to gelaterias, but there’s really no reason here as this is far better than most of what can be found in the North End.
My biggest error was in not buying some of the macarons while I was in here as well, but I was hampered first in that they were having problems with their credit card machine so I just opted for using the cash in my front pocket. Secondly, since I was heading to hang out with a diabetic, the idea of bringing these delectable cookies seemed, well, not very thoughtful either…
Dish – bambino $2.75 picolo $3.50 medio $4.25
781 863 0848
Open year round
Tuesday-Friday noon-8p, Saturday-Sunday noon-5p, closed Mondays