Sunday, December 13, 2009

Cozy Can-Can Conversation

I'm not exactly sure when all this rain began. I know it wasn't raining when I left for Gallery 5 around 10:15 last night but the first thing I noticed upon leaving the show around 1:15 was the sound of pelting rain/ice balls hitting the sidewalk and porches as I walked home, so I'm guessing somewhere in the midnight range. Today's continuing wetness might have kept some people in, but I wasn't one of them.

I had plans to meet an old Floyd Avenue neighbor at Can-Can this afternoon, where today's downpour hadn't stopped flocks of people from heading to Carytown. The restaurant was doing a bustling business when I arrived mid-afternoon, making for a cozy atmosphere to escape the rain and enjoy some conversation and a beverage.

I couldn't resist ordering a hot chocolate, not because I'd had it there before, but because a French brasserie ought to make a good one. The bartender's first question (small or large?) was a good indication of things to come. Why get a small amount of chocolate when you can get a large? The plus-sized coffee cup arrived looking like a dessert from the chocolate gods.

Made from chocolate ganache (dark chocolate and heavy cream) and covered in whipped cream, this cup of heaven may as well have been a dessert. Thick and creamy, decadently rich and chocolaty, it was the best rainy day drink I could have imagined, much less ordered. And with such a large serving, I was able to savor it for a good long while. By the time I got near the end of the cup, the chocolate concentration was so heavy as to be syrup-like. Oh my.

My former neighbor is about as big an rva booster as I am, and I thoroughly enjoyed our chat about all the great stuff that goes on in this town. We compared notes about shows we'd both seen at the National as well as some of our dorkier, but no less interesting, outings. And, of course, he updated me on my former 'hood, where he still lives.

I don't think I've had a cup of hot chocolate in a decade and I now realize what an oversight on my part that was. As we head into the colder months, I may have to introduce a friend or two to my latest liquid find. Should they find it a bit rich for their taste, I could probably finish it off for them without any problem.

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