This is Christina and Eli, members of the Berkeley Press Team, writing to you about our hot chocolate experience we had at Eataly. This is the first blog of a three-part blog series as members of our team explore hot chocolate options in NYC. We will be reviewing Eataly, Dylan’s Candy Bar, and finally Max Brenner. Hopefully, you enjoy our exploration of the hot chocolate scene in NYC.
Eataly is a store on 24th St. & 5th Ave in Manhattan opened by famous chef Mario Batali and partners, that is full of gourmet food and ingredients. The one we visited is near Madison Square Park and has its own coffee shop in the front.
Inside, the line was short but the seating was limited so Eli scouted a location for us to sit at while I (Christina) looked over the menu: Unable to translate what “Dolcezze Lavazza Hot” meant from the menu board, I ordered all six options.
Here’s what we thought: The Espresso Tornese was in a short glass with cocoa on top. It tasted primarily of milk and subtle sweetness. It was mild and you could easily gulp it down in one swallow if you had just stopped into Eataly because it was cold outside and you wanted a quick coffee pick-me-up. The drink was very creamy at the bottom, it was a serious coffee drinker’s drink though, not a serious hot chocolate drinker’s drink. The last sip was sweet liquid chocolate hidden beneath the final sip of espresso. If you’d like a delicious espresso with a sweet finish, you’ll like this drink.
The Bicerin was a very bitter espresso drink in a tall glass. Imagine the most bitter thing you have ever tasted and then triple it. It had no whipped cream, just a little foam on top. It was the most bitter thing I had perhaps ever tasted in my life, and I regularly consume bitter things like coffee with no sugar, or dark chocolate unsweetened. I was determined to get all the way through the drink regardless of the suffering I felt, and near the end of the drink it was delicious, there was amazing sweet, warm, melty, chocolate hidden under the extremely bitter coffee. There is no doubt that the drink is very delicious at the end, but you have to go through hell first to get there. If you like bitter, intense flavors you might like this one, we don’t recommend it for someone looking specifically for a hot chocolate, also it gave this reviewer a tummy ache.
Eli: Truthfully……It was HORRIBLE…..At least in my opinion. It was a layered drink that tasted like very bitter coffee up top but then according to my co-worker Christina, got better as you went. Leaving the chocolate taste at the bottom of the cup.
The Piemonte was a tall, hot drink. It had whipped cream that was very sweet and coffee that was very bitter. It tasted primarily of espresso with a tiny hint of cocoa. The cocoa didn’t taste sweet like a chocolate bar, it tasted like cocoa powder that you bake with, raw and unsweetened. If you want a bitter cocoa flavored coffee, this is your drink. If you want a hot chocolate you can skip this one. If you’re looking for a delicious fancy coffee, this is a great choice.
The Ciocccolata is definitely the drink you would go into Eataly to order if you are on a quest for the perfect hot chocolate. It was dark, melted, warm, smooth, gooey chocolate goodness. Liquid heaven is what Eli and I called it. We think it’s comparable to drinking a warm Hershey kiss. Warning: You will get chocolate all over your face when you drink this. Worth it! This is Christina’s pick for best hot chocolate.
The Cioccolata Con Pana was Eli’s favorite. He said you can taste the espresso first, but the warm chocolate on the bottom balances the coffee out. There was whipped cream in the middle of the flavors because of the way the layers of flavors it worked out magically in your mouth. We both agreed that this drink had definitely been designed by a professional and we were really impressed.
Eli: By far my Favorite Hot Chocolate selection of the day. It was very rich in chocolate all the way through with a whipped-cream & shaved cocoa on top. Just enough to make the drinker want another cup! As you can see below, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The Neve Sulla Lava was short, small, and cold. There was cream on top with chocolate shavings. The menu says the coffee is layered with the Italian hot chocolate, which means that your first sip is cream, then you sip espresso, then after that you get to the hot chocolate. I thought it was a delicious coffee drink. Every drink at Eataly a unique experience, and this beverage was no exception.
Eli: Now this drink was a close second to the Chocolata con Panna. This was a great mixture of Hot Chocolate and Espresso. Topped off with whipped cream, the best part of this drink was the fact that the espresso was semi-cold and blended well with the warmth of the chocolate. The only thing I wish could have been better is the size of the glass!
The thing about all these hot chocolate infused drinks from Eataly that makes them so great is that the drink is very well planned to be a complete experience in a glass. Every sip combines different flavors so that by the end of the drink you have had a journey through delicious, caffeinated nirvana. We recommend you stop by Eataly and try one of these six drinks, you will not be disappointed!