Saturday, June 25, 2016

Some Welcome New Eateries in Framingham Centre

Since the closing of Red Pepper, the Chinese restaurant at the foot of the east side of Edgell Road, the area abutting it, with two buildings containing retail and office space, had been decidedly less vibrant at night.

That's changing now, with the recent opening of Dulce D Leche Gelato Cafe at 5 Edgell Road, which specializes in Argentinian-style gelato, as well as as fruit sorbet, handmade chocolates, coffee drinks, and other baked goods. Open from early morning until 9 p.m. most days - 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, the shop has decidedly increased the number of people in the area at night.

The business is owned by a Framingham husband and wife team, Samanta Stavar and Jules Remenar, who are seeking to recreate the treats she missed from her native Argentina.  In Buenos Aires, the famous Italian ice cream was adapted by Italian immigrants to Latin American tastes by often blending dulce de leche, a confection made of heated sweetened milk, into some gelato flavors. After working my way through some of its more than twenty flavors (they gladly offer samples to help you decide) on multiple visits since they opened earlier this month, it's quickly become my favorite local ice cream shop.

And opening in August or September about one hundred feet away in the same plaza, at 1 Edgell Road, is a second location of Volturno, a 120-seat artisanal Neapolitan-style pizzeria (they also serve other Italian fare such as pasta), which will have a full liquor license and outdoor patio seating. A highly-acclaimed eatery since it opened three years ago on Shrewsbury Street in Worcester, Volturno is also locally owned and hoping to expand its success eastward, attracting more diners from the Boston area. Having dined at the Worcester location, and eaten pizza in its birthplace in the Italian city of Naples, I can definitively say Volturno is the real deal.

Now, if we can only get a new restaurant in the old Red Pepper space (I'd love to see a farm-to-table style gastro pub with a creative selection of craft beer, wine and cocktails) we'll have a veritable triangle of food and drink options in close proximity in Framingham Centre.