Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Some Like It HOT

I really like the hot chocolate drink with pepperoncini. The first time I ever had it was in Florence at the Uffizi Cafe. When we couldn't find it at La Terrazza, Aria said I'm going to take you to the "best" place . It's so cute and they will have your pepperoncini for sure. We made our way through all those little streets of Florence to Via del Corso (36/r, tel. 055 21 4247) to "Chiaroscuro Cafe". fyi: This place is open 7:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Mon-Wed. and Fri-Sun; 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.Thurs. no credit cards.

Local shoppers, students in the know and YOU will be so pleasantly surprised by the cozy ambiance, good food and great coffee here. The window displays of espresso machines, coffee cups, all kinds of coffees on the billboard outside show that this place is all about coffee. At the back tables beyond the long narrow bar you can have a light lunch, delicious pastries or any of the twenty or so flavored hot chocolates or coffees. On that day after not finding the pepperoncini hot chocolate at La Terrazza we were in front of Chiaroscuro. It looked so cute, like a little Parisian cafe. Aria says, "This is the place that has really GOOD hot chocolate. We weren't hungry but I said, "Want to go in?" She says, "Wow, YES!" We go past the busy bar area to the back. It's still crowded but we are once again lucky and find a nice table against the back corner. The waitress brings us a menu listing all kinds of teas, coffees, and about twenty variations of hot chocolate. (now we're talking) There's hot chocolate with hazelnut, almonds, caramel, and YES they have the spicy one with pepperoncini. We both want that one, plus a small bottle of water to go with this. Note to self "this is an important thing to order". The hot chocolate arrives, thick like syrup with the sprinkled red pepper sitting on the top like someone shook cayenne all around the top. I mix it up but Aria just dips her spoon in and takes a mouthful of chocolate and pepper. "Wow", she said. "That's HOT!" but she smiles and says, "I love it!" ....more water please. We are very happy. The desserts look good and so does the food but that will have to be for another day.

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