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Best Cannoli

Italian Kitchen
27 W. Congress St.

STAFF PICK: We've been searching for the perfect cannoli for well onto a year now, and we're here to say it hasn't been easy. After a particularly dismal experience at a reputable local Italian restaurant, we even went so far as to lower our standards. So imagine our delight--nay, euphoria--when we discovered the cannolis at downtown's Italian Kitchen. There they were, right under our noses all the while, in the neglected deli case just out of our line of sight (we were always distracted by the maw of the kitchen's pizza oven, purveyor of those fantastic slices of pie and overstuffed calzones). The cannolis here are the perfect size (small enough to eat two, but large enough qualify as a pastry rather than a finger-food). The marscarpone filling is delicately rather than cloyingly sweet; and creamy without losing its firm texture. They go the route of the chocolate-chip variety (mini ones on either end), but the filling is infused with a subtle nuttiness that we think is Amaretto-inspired. Best of all, the fried shell is the appropriate balance between thin and sturdy. Now if only we could catch them before they go into that deli case (where the unavoidable humidity musses with their charms)...Mama mia!

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