Saturday, March 2, 2024

Expect anywhere from a dozen to around 20 repacked flavors as Toscanini’s ice cream tests reopening. (Photo: Toscanini’s via Facebook)

Toscanini’s reopens Friday, starting with five hours of curbside pickup in East Cambridge. Just call or order online and the Tosci’s crew will put together some pints or – dream big – a half-gallon of Cambridge’s signature dessert for you.

Like most Cambridge eateries, the shop has been closed for weeks during a coronavirus lockdown.

“We’re really anxious to resume selling,” Toscanini’s Gus Rancatore said Thursday. “We, and most restaurants I know, are trying to be very cautious. We just don’’t want anything bad to happen, so we’ll be wearing masks and gloves and we’ll be cleaning furiously. And all the ice cream is prepacked.”

Considering what happened May 9 at the Polar Cave Ice Cream Parlour in Mashpee, it may be the customers who should worry about what “bad” might happen. When the Cape Cod ice cream shop reopened, eager customers ignored the need to order ahead, showed up to demand their treats anyway and abused the overwhelmed servers – including a traumatized 17-year-old who quit – when they didn’t get what they wanted. (“I’m not a trauma center, it’s ice cream!” owner Mark Lawrence told a local station.)

Not that Rancatore is worried about his customers.

“I thought that was kind of an aberration,” he said. “I think here there’s not a lot of the kind of crazy tension you see in other states – though people are tense.”

Tense Cantabrigians who need their Tosci’s should be warned: For this reopening, a shop that usually has freezers full of 32 flavors is starting with 20 or fewer – and some favorites may not be among them. As of late Thursday, there were a dozen flavors listed online, including B3, Kulfi and Cocoa Pudding. Fudge and coffee ice cream sandwiches are also available.

Toscanini’s is open 3 to 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 159 First St., by the Cambridgeside mall in East Cambridge. Order online here.

This post was updated to change the spelling of the ice cream flavor Kulfi (from “Khulfi”).