Monday, February 06, 2012

February Means Chocolate Time - Day 1!

On my recent travels I partook, as I almost always do, in hunt for the best hot chocolate and thought I’d share my findings. This all started with a list of four places the articles author noted back in a 2007 Travel and Leisure magazine. I’ve been to one place on the list, Angelina’s in Paris, but sought other cafes out at the same time and found, while wonderful in chocolate offering and ambiance, it was one of a few that were also good. The list is not final or by any means the ultimate list, it was and continues to be a starting point.

Now, back to this last trip when I visited a second of the four on the list, but because my brain works in a funny way, I’ll begin where the trip started, in Rome, and my favorite cup there was found at:

Antico Caffe Greco [86 Via Condotti]
“Stendhal, Leopardi, Ungaretti…all have sat in this prestigious café, founded in 1760 and concealed between the boutiques of the Via Condotti. The interior retains its velvet chairs, marble-topped tables, red -colored walls, pictures, sculptures and tail coated staff. Pastries, coffees and ice cream. Cheaper if you sit at the counter.”
Is what the Knopf Mapguides to Rome said and, yes, it’s all true and so much more. People came in and had a quick drink as they went through the day, others sat and read while drinking something delicious, and then there were those like us who were just taking a break and talking while I enjoyed the delightful café.

There were little room, hallways and a more private nook that were filled with tables and all were enticing. The front has a counter and glass cabinets full of sugary treats, but we chose to sit in the room beyond the front two with a great view of most of the happenings.

I ordered a  cioccolato con panna [hot chocolate with cream] and the cup came with a separate of cream which I stirred a dollop in whenever I felt it was needed.  By no means was this a large cup, but it was large on flavor.  Not sugary sweet, but pure delightful unadorned chocolate.  The consistency was a bit thick, which makes me think it was made with full fat milk.

Yes, I enjoyed this cup as much as I loved the cafe.  The atmosphere was exactly what I expected from the brief description above.

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