Friends, Family, and Villa del Conte Cioccolato Artigianale
Today I permitted myself to indulge a bit. We had lunch at Crisostomo, one of my favorite Filipino restaurants, with family friends, the Aldaneses. Pusit, Lechon Kawali, Manggang Hilaw Salad, Laing, Inihaw na Tuna Belly, Sinigang… Sigh, all my favorites! I made sure I got a little of everything. Well, maybe a bit more of that Lechon Kawali. It was a good kind of busog (feeling of being full); busog with good food and busog with Tito Vince’s entertaining kwentos (stories)!
I wouldn’t usually save room for dessert anymore but I accidentally bit into one whole SILING LABUYO (chili pepper) and it was extremely PAINFUL! I knew I HAD to get something sweet to counter that nasty burn in my mouth. It was a good thing we were headed to Villa Del Conte right after lunch as the Aldaneses wanted us to taste their new artisan chocolate flavors fresh from Italy!
Tita Rhoda personally prepares the chocolates for us!
I know I said I broke up with chocolate already but just this one time, I couldn’t resist. How could I when they served us flavors they haven’t even launched to the public yet? It was too sweet of an offer to pass up!
And it’s not like they’re your regular, ultra-sweet, chocolate! They’re MY kind of chocolate — not too sweet and not purely chocolate. All their chocolates have mixes in them and these four new ones are Hazelnut with Hazelnut Chips, Whiskey Mocha, Tartufone (oops, I’m not sure if I got that right), and Blueberry!
From top left to bottom right: Hazelnut with Hazelnut bits, Whiskey Mocha, Tartufone, Blueberry
It was so difficult to decide which one I liked the best. I’m a Hazelnut fan so that just hit the spot, the Tartufone (a mix of milk and dark chocolate) had a beautiful creamy dark flavor with tiny rice crisps, the Whiskey Mocha had just the right amount of liquor flavor, and the Blueberry had actual blueberry bits in them! All of them melted in my mouth just the way artisan chocolates should — subtle but with an impact. (Not the extremely creamy kind which sticks to your mouth and makes you want to throw up.)
Although if I had to pick which one I liked the best, I’d say the Blueberry wins this round. Not only do I love blueberries but there’s nowhere else I could find chocolate blueberries in Manila! (I thought of my friend, Ayet. She would love these!) They actually have those chocolate covered acai-blueberry ones in S&R but then we found out they were made from juice concentrate. A bit of a disappointment. But these? They were amazing! Even my little sister who isn’t fond of blueberries actually liked them.
Mom’s a sucker for candy-coated chocolate eggs and bought two jars of Ovicini (sugar-coated dark chocolate eggs with hazelnut cream filling)!
The next round of chocolates may not look as appetizing, I’d have to say. But I’m one who never says no to food without trying it first. I actually love the raw and organic look of it. These are flavors they haven’t launched yet and I’m excited for people to actually try them because they’re so unusual and interesting! Besides the chocolate-covered walnuts at the farthest end, they have chocolate-covered chestnuts (castanas!) and chocolate-covered figs! Love those figs!
From top to bottom: Chocolate Chestnuts, Chocolate Figs, Chocolate Walnuts
Reunited with chocolate!
Father and son. Tito Vince and David.
My mom and her old friend from high school, Tita Rhoda. (If they haven’t been friends since then, I will most definitely not use the word “old.” haha! I always tell mom that Tita Rhoda has the most amazing skin, making her look twenty years younger than she actually is.)
We had a wonderful time with the Aldaneses! I love how this makes us look like we’re actually at a quaint little nook in the streets of Italy! The interiors are absolutely charming and the company made it even warmer.
Look what I got to bring home!
Tito Vince also made sure I had a box of just my favorite flavor — BANANA PRALINE STICKS! I would seriously write an ode to Villa Del Conte Banana Praline Sticks if it wouldn’t make me seem crazy and obsessed. I’ve gone bananas over these! I literally sigh — I swear, sometimes I feel like I’m even going to cry — with every bite. It’s THAT good. It is the epitome of Cioccolato Sublime. I’m so glad they brought it here (they don’t even have these in the States!) because I haven’t found any in other high end brands.
If you want to be remembered, these chocolates are the perfect gift and giveaways.
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and Visit them at:
2/F Greenbelt 5
3/F Shangri-la Plaza Mall
G/F Resorts World Manila
Call 8932575 or 6216101
or EMAIL email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org