Monday, July 18, 2011

What Else Can You Put Kahlua In?

Cannoli -- Caffe Dante
Caffe Dante

The fact that we have consumed two desserts and three cocktails (not to mention, oh, a burger and fries) so far today does not deter us from venturing to one last stop on our day's itinerary: Caffe Dante for a cannoli, about which Alex Guarnaschelli raved on the very first ORIGINAL Best Thing I Ever Ate special, before the concept was turned into a series.
And Before We Started Eating Our Weight in Pastries
Feeling no obligation to sober up, we peruse the drink options.  When Ginger settles on a cappuccino with kahlua, Vodka asks our waitress if the cappuccino can be made with skim milk (lest you think Vodka has suddenly become vain after a full day of downing calories willy nilly, the truth is that anything but skim milk makes her want to gag).

"We don't carry skim milk," the waitress proclaims.  Having now cut her "cocktail" options in half, Vodka asks the only logical follow-up question:

"What else can you put kahlua in?"

The waitress suggests an Americano, which proves to be a delectable choice.  If only these booze-soaked cocktails had been Alex Guarnaschelli's Caffe Dante menu choice -- they would have been strictly 5 stars.
One of These Things Doesn't Taste Like the Others
Unfortunately for all involved, she chose the cannoli.

Neither of us being of Italian heritage, we are not one with the cannoli culture.  While we have eaten them, and even enjoyed them (the ones from Ferrara Bakery have proven to be especially delicious), they would never be our first choice dessert.
Especially When We Prefer to Drink Our Calories
When Caffe Dante's cannoli arrives, a generous amount of filling spills out of either side of its open shell, and the whole thing is sprinkled with a heaping of powdered sugar.  Each taking a claim to a cannoli end, we stick our forks in, and our Tea and Sympathy facial expressions reveal themselves in reverse.
About to Join the Cast of the Real Housewives of New Jersey
While Vodka, who has tasted only the filling thus far, is content, Ginger is making all kinds of facial contortions of displeasure.  Insistent that there must be something wrong with Ginger's end of the cannoli, we spin the plate and switch sides.

Same result.

Eventually, we discover from where the difference of opinion is stemming: the cannoli shell, which Vodka has yet to try.  Breaking through with her fork, she samples it as Ginger looks on expectantly.

"Ugh" is Vodka's highly articulate reaction.

We have found the cannoli problem: the shell tastes like cleaning fluid mummified in Saran wrap.  Cannoli by Mr. Clean, if you will.
And Based on the Max Brenner Experience, We've Learned Not to Trust a Bald Man with Dessert
The shell is also not particularly crispy.  The cannoli seems to have met the sad fate of sitting too long, filled, under plastic wrapping in the fridge.

Perhaps tellingly, we, as often-certified members of the clean-plate club, do not even come close to finishing this item, and neither of us asks for it to be packed up in a doggie bag.
Poor Work, Team
The cream filling, which is perfectly acceptable if nothing special, is the only thing saving this cannoli from one-star status...

The cream filling, and more likely, the increasing effects of our kahlua-based beverages.

Caffe Dante's Cannoli: 2 stars

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