Like the last time I went to Philadelphia, my first fooding stop during my visit two weeks ago was Capogiro, aka, the gelateria I wish we had in New York City. After lazying around on a bench in Rittenhouse Square with Alex (it was an uncharacteristically warm night, perfect for bench-sitting), we met up with Lisa (previously of Jacques Torres' macaron woman fame) and her friend at Capogiro.
I got a cup of pomelo sorbet and fior di latte gelato topped with a free (FREE!) pump of whipped cream. Because what goes better with a creamy, 50 percent dairy-filled dessert than foamy heavy cream? ...Yeah! As usual, both flavors were great—sort of delicate and strong at the same time, that is, not overpowering and not too sweet. Pomelo tastes like a tart-less grapefruit and fior di latte is just sweet milk, or vanilla without the vanilla. You would barely know that the sorbet were dairy-less considering how creamy and smooth it was.
For once though in my whipped cream-loving life, I'd say that whipped cream may have been more of a hindrance than a help. While unsweetened whipped cream goes great in something that, ingested straight, is likely to incite nausea—I'm lookin' at you, hot chocolate from Angelina—when something is already perfectly flavored à la Capogiro's gelato, whipped cream just muddles the flavor. I've learned my lesson.
The next morning Alex brought me to French bakery Miel to fulfill my ever present craving for viennoiserie that, for whatever reason, I rarely indulge in in New York City. Knowing that nothing will live up to the memories of what I ate in Paris is a bit of a deterrent.
But Miel and their display case of golden, flaky pastries ballooned by the leavening power of air and buttery layers did pretty well, besides that having Alex by my side always gave me some sense of being in Paris (it's where I became friends with him).
My pain au chocolat was satisfyingly light and stacked with thin, defined layers. Soft and sturdy with a bit of chew at the same time, oh yesss. The outer crust was not of the delicate shattering armor sort, but you can only ask for so much. I would gladly eat this again.
Alex's raspberry croissant also appeared to be full of flaky goodness.
But why stop at viennoiserie when you can have more? More cakes! More tarts! FOR BREAKFAST!
We shared a Passion cake made of coconut bavarian cream and passion fruit mousse on a coconut Genoise cake. Basically, mostly light creamy stuff and light fluffy cake. It's lighter than most acceptable breakfast dishes, I'm sure. Nicely flavored and not too sweet.
We finished with a salted caramel chocolate tart made of a crumbly chocolate cookie crust filled with thick, chewy caramel topped with a dense chocolate ganachey substance. I would've liked it better if the caramel had been saltier and if the textures of the three main parts were more harmonious—the strong goo-force (something that has to do with the measurement of how sticky and resistant something is when you attempt to cleave it from its mother chunk...or whatever) of the caramel made sure that after cutting through the chocolate top and shattering the bottom crust you'd still struggle to free the middle layer of caramel as it clung on with ever lengthening flagellum-like extensions. You know what I mean. I can't say it tasted bad; I just took issues with its structure. If it had been a one-bite chocolate bon bon filled with salted caramel and a cookie center, it would've worked fine.
If only every breakfast could consist of croissants, cakes, tarts, and Alex. How content I would be.
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