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Cannolis, Pasticiotti, Cuccidatis… oh my!

Last week I was tasked to bring dessert to a dinner gathering and knew that this would be the perfect time to try Gino’s Italian Bakery.

I had been told that their pasticiotti was the very best in town and they were on my list to try for a while. Gino’s recently moved from their Hertel location, where they had occupied the same corner for decades. I had a bit of a hard time finding the right info for them, as the phone number on the website was not correct. Instead of calling, I sent a note to the email address listed on their website (currently under construction) and got some info back (see PDF below), upon which time I placed an order for pick-up.

After digging around further, I learned that current owner Pamela DiPalma purchased the bakery from the Great Northern Baking Company about three years ago. Pamela grew up in an Italian family full of great bakers. She attributes much of Gino’s success to her family’s recipes, especially the cookies. I was really happy to be picking my order up on a Sunday, so I could try their cartocci, which is only available on this one day of the week.

Gino’s Italian Bakery is located at 1104 Kenmore Ave almost at the corner of Colvin Avenue, but the entrance is in the back – off of a large parking lot. The bakery is mainly a production space and not a location to dine in. There are a couple of display counters at the entrance and the rest is a large baking kitchen. The owner has indicated that they plan to create a café setting soon to offer coffee, tea and food.

Gino's-Buffalo-NY-2I ordered a mixed party tray with an assortment of napoleons, cannolis, éclairs, cream puffs and a couple cartocci and pasticiotti. I was pleasantly surprised to see that they added a few cookies in for me to try as well. I think the cuccidati (which is a fig, nut and spice filled cookie) alone is worth a trip to Gino’s! I have not had one this good since a childhood friend’s grandmother made them. If she only knew… I bet that she would hang up her apron and get them at Gino’s.

My other favorite was the cartocci. Gino’s rendition is made with a flaky puff pastry horn and filled with a cannoli-like ricotta filling. You do not see them very often on menus and theirs are a real treat.

Gino's-Buffalo-NY-1The cannolis were made with crisp homemade shells and a beautiful, silky ricotta filling. The fresh baked giant pasticiotti pastry was very moist and delicious. This “cookie” like pastry is made with a buttery, flaky dough much like a pie crust and then baked with a ricotta cream filling and topped with icing.

The crème puff was delicious but slightly different than the French version we are accustomed to. It was filled with a whipped cream filling instead of custard, which made it very light tasting and really quite good. The pastry was well made and melted in my mouth.

The napoleon was a bit too sweet for me but some of the other folks that shared these sweets, raved about it. In fact, a few of them mentioned overall that they had never had or never liked these kinds of Italian pastries and they are now fans.

Gino’s is a winner. Hurry and get your holiday ordering in. They plan to offer cookie trays for gift giving (or just a little personal indulgence!) Even if you bake your own treats all season, I think everyone should have a few of these pastries on their holiday dessert trays.

Gino’s Italian Bakery
1104 Kenmore Ave.
Buffalo, NY 14216



Written by Kristine Hornung-Pottle

Kristine Hornung-Pottle

Kristine Hornung Pottle relocated back to Buffalo from Seattle, where she owned and operated The Wandering Cafe, LLC for twelve years (a catering and events company she began in Buffalo twenty-five years ago). She is currently the COO for Buffalo's echo Art Fair. As an experienced chef and independent event coordinator, Kristine contributes to Buffalo Rising occasionally.

View All Articles by Kristine Hornung-Pottle
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