Good monte bianco and hot chocolate in Rome, Florence & Venice?
Will be travelling to Italy soon and want to know where I can find good monte bianco and hot chocolate in the 3 big cities? Friend is addicted to everything chestnut and pistachio so any pastries recommendations with those two ingredients are welcomed!
Rivoire on the Piazza Della Signoria in Florence is famous, justly so, for its hot chocolate. Have it standing up at the bar and it costs less than having it while you are seated at a table.
In rome, nonna vincenza makes great sicilian pastries = pistachios. Also try andrea de bellis for all pastries.
Florian has delicious hot chocolate and the cozy setting in winter is divine.
Montebianco is one of my favorites and I usually order them whenever and where ever possible. Here are some favorites in Rome that spring to mind:
La Campana: order it for dessert at this old fashioned restaurant
Bernasconi: tiny bar and pastry shop on Via dei Giubbonari
Regoli:one of the best pastry shops in Rome, just off Via Merulana.
Dagnino: Sicilian pastry shop, they have a very retro tea room.
Natalizi: old bar and pastry shop on Via Po
My feeling is that if someone goes to the trouble of making Montebianco, then you have a duty to try it. So keep your eyes open.
Have you had the high tea @ Florian? On the website, it says that for 33 euro, high tea comes with tea, 2 scones and some finger sandwiches. I know that Florian is expensive, but is it worth it for high tea? Or would you recommend just getting a tea/coffee and dessert? Is there a particular dessert that they are well known for? Like the Mont Blanc @ Angelina in Paris?
I have not at the high tea at Florians. As for dessert, you can never go wrong with ice cream. In the back hallway, you can see their pastry. It's all good; I don't know if that is because of the Austrian influence. I don't know if Florians has a special pastry. I pray this helps.
Hot chocolate: unlike cities such Paris where good hot chocolate is common, not too many in Venice. Most cafes serve an ordinary cup and not with the pomp and style such as Flores, John-Paul Hevin, Angelina in Paris. An exception is Caffe Florian where it is serve with style in a grand setting but will set one back around 10 euros. It is worth it setting inside on a cold Venetian day. The best is probably at the excellent chocolatier, Vizio Virtu. She has two small shops off Campo San Tomas in San Polo. The shop on calle dei Campaniel has beautifully made chocolates and other goodies, gelato (only a few revolving flavors, sometimes pistachio bronte) and hot chocolate. But it has not seating but can watch the owner chocolate work in the open back kitchen. Her holiday concoctions are works of art. She also has a nearby pastry shop/cafe just off Cp San Tomas that has beautiful pastries. She will probably have a version of monte bianco for the holidaysd. Both shops are worth a visit. Another place that serves good hot chocolate is Venchi, an Italian chocolate manufacturer, on calle di Fabbri. It is mainly a gelateria and not much on ambience.
Pistachio: have not found many sweets made with pistachio. Pastries shops such as Tonolo has a breakfast pastry filled with the paste or slices of roulade filled with pistachio cream. Also pistachio macaroon at the above Vizio Virtu. One will find pistachio flavor gelato in every gelateria. The version with the most intense pistachio is at Alaska. A good creamier ones at Lo Squeri and Il Gelatone.
Monte bianco: I have never seen in at any Venetian restaurant. Some pastecerria might made it for the holiday. Best bet is Marchini on calle Spadaria, the three shops of Rosa Salva or Majer. One will find marron glace in many shops for the holidays. Most are made months ahead by a commercial manufacture but check out Vizio Virtu and Marchiini. Osteria Alle Testieres serves a delicious chocolate chestnut torte. Can't think of any other restaurant that uses chestnut on a consistent basis.
I am from Rome but I live in Paris, so I know Montblanc!!!
ROME BEST MONT BLANC: Pasticceria Mondi, Via Flaminia 468.
ROME BEST SICILIAN PASTRIES: Pasticceria Dagnino, via Emanuele Orlando 75 - near Piazza della Repubblica. (sicilian pastries are my favorites, theere is plenty of pistachios, and this is the most antique artisan in Rome, try "cannoli" and "cassata" as well)