Monday, April 25, 2011

Eataly's bicerin - non delizioso

There are many reasons to visit Eataly, that mecca of food devoted to everything Italian. One can dine in any of the six restaurants, buy Italian specialty goods or simply dash in for a quick espresso. The hunt for edible confectionery suitable as a birthday gift explained my presence at Eataly on a warm Sunday afternoon.

I fortuitously glanced up at the board above the coffee bar and laid my eyes on the word "bicerin".In a couple of previous posts, I had claimed that this sweet treat from Turin was served only at Pubblico Espresso Bar in the Village - but here was evidence to the contrary.

Eager to sample Eataly's version of bicerin despite the warm weather, I found an empty seat at the counter and took a sip. And another. Whereas my lips expected the taste of cold cream intersecting with hot, robust espresso and sweet chocolate, the layer of cream, alarmingly thin in appearance, was equally overpowered in taste.

A bit of consolation was the Lavazza coffee used in the bicerin, at least that counted for something. I stirred the remains of the concoction, a big no-no, my disappointment apparent to all who cared to notice and my mind racing to find an explanation for this humdrum offering from Eataly.

Compared to Pubblico's bicerin, this was dreadful, or had I just been spoiled? No doubt the ingredients at both places were equally beyond reproach, but the harried baristas at Eataly whom I overheard mixing up customers' orders did not inspire confidence, compared to the sight of Francesca and Alessandro shaking the container of cold cream lovingly.

I did find some pistachio spread and truffles for my friend, so the afternoon wasn't a total waste. Perhaps I'll try a couple of flavors of gelato on a hot summer's day at Eataly, but cozy Pubblico will always be my place for bicerin.

P.S. Excuse the lousy photos taken with a mobile phone.

1 comment:

DessertFiend87 said...

Hey there! I happened upon your blog in search of authors discussing desserts in NYC. I keep a dessert review blog at and while I see you are doing some travelling right nOw, I was hoping you might be able to give me some ideas of good places I should seek out for my NYC edition entry. i'm following your blog now in any case :-)