Bet You’re Jealous: Dinner with Aly

Confidential to my fellow Villanova students: In reaction to yesterday’s upsetting loss, there have been a number of “gnome-stompings”, ( when a Villagnome who has been cared for as a beloved pet, roommate, and symbol of unity, is placed against a curb and crushed with a swift stomp. Please end this unnecessary cruelty. Villagnomes are the glue and the icing of our Villanovan friendships and pride. Treat them with respect.

Aly with the Creamsicle

Dish 50: Chocolate Heaven at Giumarello’s, 329 Haddon Avenue, Westmont,

I could have made an embarrassing amount of money last night. There are a lot of guys at Villanova who would have happily surrendered weeks of beer money to have dinner with Aly. But Aly and I had catching up to do and some Chocolate Heaven to eat. And I don’t usually auction off dinner dates.

Aly has been following this blog all along, and has already visited Melograno and tasted the paccari all’amatriciana. Which I was already excited for, and now I can barely breathe. That’s a story for another day. So she didn’t sweat it when we had to venture to quaint Westmont, New Jersey to try this dessert.

Chocolate Heaven is described as a chocolate ganache filling with a cookie crust, a thick dousing of whipped cream and some chocolate shavings. This portrayal is unfair and entirely inadequate. The ganache is really a dense, hearty, mouth-gluing, slow-eating chocolate peat, peat in the way that this chocolate filling was once cocoa and butter and chocolate and that peat was once fern leaves, but now both are superdense hydrocarbons. The crust is barely there, microsheets of chocolate sugar flakes, most delicate of crisp, most shock of sweetness and fat, a fitting dressing on Heaven. Dad and I made something once that had a crust like that. It was chocolate, butter, and sugar, cooked in a cake pan for several minutes until the sugar melted and became an intoxicating chocolate caramel.

We agreed that the whipped cream, while delicious, did not add to the beauty or perfection of the creation, except as a vehicle for the chocolate shavings, which were actually not shavings at all, but superthin tiles of dark chocolate jutting majestically from the fluffy cream.

We lingered over our cocktails, discussing spring break, big decisions, and the time our nail appointment ran long and I had to stand up two friends who had a history. (It’s funny now because it turned out fine.) This dessert deserves to be eaten slowly, and we did. It took nearly an hour, but we had promised each other that there would be No Bite Left Behind.

Do girls dream in chocolate? Yes. We were in Heaven.

  • Before
  • The Aftermath
  • 329 Haddon Avenue, Westmont

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