Friday, May 6, 2011

Angelina Chocolate

When I first went to Paris, I was fortunate to have two coworkers at the time who had each recently lived there. They gave me great recommendations for things like a hotel, outdoor markets to check out (Rue Cler is a must!), and a bunch of other generally-touristy stuff not to miss. One of the recommendations was to visit the Angelina chocolate shop on Rue de Rivoli across from the Louvre.

Put it this way, for a couple of reasons, I remember the day I first went to Angelina like it was yesterday. I've said it before but...Paaaaaaahreeeeeeees!

Going to Angelina is a little bit like going to Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. Your senses get overwhelmed by the experience. When you first walk in the door, you pass through their dessert and chocolate shop where you can pick out what you want to have with your chocolate.

After you've decided on a dessert or three, you get led to the dining room, which is, I guess, decorated in the traditional French style. Other than sitting outside on the sidewalk, it's about as French as you can get; the waiters are even dressed like...French waiters!

The highlight of the visit is, for sure, when they bring you your own little pitcher of piping hot drinking chocolate and a little dish full of fresh whipped cream. Try looking at this and not have your mouth water just a little bit:

Absolutely amazing is what I have to say. Pure art...that you get to drink. The closest I can describe it is when you get one of those molten chocolate lava cake things except that the chocolate is better and it doesn't melt the roof of your mouth. The desserts are awesome too. My advice though is don't get a chocolate dessert to go with your drinking chocolate like I did on my first visit. This time I opted for something that looked a whole lot less sweet and that would go nice with my chocolate explosion.

If you're one of the three readers of my blog, you may remember I've also written about Cafe de l'Opera in Barcelona that also serves a wicked drinking chocolate. I'd be pressed to say which is better. On one hand, Cafe de l'Opera serves churros with their chocolate, which, honestly, is a much better match but, on the other hand, Angelina is soooo Paris and their desserts are top-notch. I guess it's like deciding between my two favorite children...whichever is in front of me at the time!

(Advice: There are actually a few Angelina locations, including one inside the shopping mall attached to the Louvre, but I recommend going to the one across the street as the ambiance is better.)

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