22nd April 2017

After a successful couple of years’ trading in Loughborough, Dolcino brought it’s gelateria-café concept to Nottingham’s City Centre earlier this month.


Not being ones to turn down the chance to try something sweet, we popped along to meet the team and try out some of their traditional Sicilian desserts, which are made on-site, using a secret family recipe.

After a very friendly greeting from staff member Robert, we were shown past a huge array of delicious looking cakes, gelato and sandwiches and led to a bright and airy upstairs window seat, with a great view of Nottingham’s Market Square.

We quickly discovered that the menu needed serious consideration, as the range of dishes on offer is substantial and all, quite frankly, are tempting. After much deliberation and with advice from the lovely Robert, we decide to go with the Knickerbocker Glory, the Oreo Lux Freakshake and the Mini Cheeky Monkey crepe for my 8 year old daughter.

We were then shown around the restaurant by owner Francesco Arcadio, who runs the business with his wife Kirsten and their 18 year old son Sebastian. Francesco comes from a line of gelato makers and, after helping his father and grandfather to make it in Italy, he is now passing the skills down to his own son. He is warm, enthusiastic and determined to introduce us Nottingham folk to the delights of real Italian gelato – there is even a viewing area in the café where you can see the gelato being prepared and made.

Ask Francesco to explain the difference between ice-cream and gelato and you will leave with a wealth of new found knowledge. Did you know that gelato is produced at a lower temperature than ice-cream, meaning you won’t experience the nightmare of brain freeze? It’s also made with less fat than ice-cream and is churned at a lower rate, giving it a denser texture (more about the results of this later). All ingredients used in the café are locally sourced, including the milk, which comes from Rutland Dairy’s free range cows and is so fresh that you can almost taste the grass.

Now for the taste test. The desserts, which were of a decent size and freshly made to order, were beautifully presented. The Knickerbocker Glory is different to what you may be used to, with layers of thick, gooey gelato and a very tasty strawberry sauce. The Freakshake Oreo Lux is a milkshake lovers dream – not too thick and with just the right blend of ingredients. Finally, the Mini Cheeky Monkey crepe was, quite frankly, huge and well worth the price tag of £4.95. The crepe was soft and absolutely smothered in chocolate gelato and cream. We washed it all down with a cup of Dolcino’s coffee, which was smooth, rich and blended on the premises.

There is a lot of competition in Nottingham City Centre, with a huge amount of eateries vying for your business. I like Dolcino and think that they offer something a bit different. You can tell that this is a family run business, with owners who really want you to experience a piece of Italian life. There’s even a running chocolate tap, if you need a fix on top of your gelato.

To give you an idea of prices, a small gelato in a cup or cone costs £2.40, folded pizzas are £3.99 and cakes cost between £2.30 and £2.60.

One word of warning ...do not over-order! Because of the density of gelato, it’s a real stomach filler and you do get a lot for your money at Dolcino!

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