G for Gelato

G for Gelato

G For Gelato may be new to Toronto, but its history traces back to more than half a century ago in Italy. The business started as a little gelateria (if you can call it that) operated out of a bicycle cart in Sora, south of Rome. It was Gerardo and Giuseppina Polsinelli who were at the helm, eventually leaving the gelato-making trade in 1967 to move themselves and their five girls to Canada.

G for Gelato

But their knowledge was not abandoned--it simply remained dormant--until it was called upon by their daughters who wanted to resurrect the family business. After learning the ins-and-outs of gelato making in Bologna (which is the generally agreed-upon gelato capital of the world), they opened G for Gelato at Jarvis and Adelaide just a few weeks ago.

G for Gelato

The cafe is open, bright and trendy; less a stumble-upon spot than a bustling central meeting place. While the owners are downstairs in a meeting, I take a self-directed tour of the space, noting the large communal table at the back, modern light fixtures, and little touches of history, which I assume to be personal family photos.

G for Gelato

While espresso and gelato have won the cafe's name, there are other menu items that seem to garner customers' attention. As I wait in line deciding on my scoop, a group of girls in front of me order up a few thin-crust pizzas (~$12 and up) after deciding against panini ($7-$9). I stick to gelato ($3.50/$4.50/$5.50) and pick lemon out from the eight to 10 mostly traditional flavours.

G for Gelato

Shawn Whelan, who has partnered with the Polsinelli daughters, appears out of nowhere and prepares my scoop. He tells me the gelato (which is made in-house from natural ingredients) with be expanded in the spring as the market for gelato, uh, "warms up." He adds that there has been a remarkable bustle about the cafe since it opened, despite opening in the wintertime with "gelato" in its name.

G for Gelato

Indeed, I was somewhat reluctant to order a frozen dessert after seeking refuge inside from the blowing winds, but I tempered it with a hot Americano ($2.25/$2.75) made with Rufino espresso. G for Gelato also offers lattes, cappuccinos, affogatos and more, along with homemade baked goods with an emphasis on Italian.

G for Gelato

I settle at the west-facing window bar, prepared for some serious Jarvis Street people-watching. I dig into my scoop and the gelato is perfect--very lemony, slight bitterness, a little sour and sweet. My Americano pairs well, though provides a stark contrast, as it's much bolder than I expected with a nutty, dark chocolate taste. I'm not sure how it compares to how the Polsinellis did it back in Italy, but for a night staring out the window on Jarvis, it works well for me.

Photos by Jesse Milns


G for Gelato

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G for Gelato

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