Boccato Gelato & Espresso

2719 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA  22201
Boccato Gelato & Espresso on Urbanspoon

I know there is sentiment out there that dislikes the consumerism and fast food like appeal of Starbucks, especially in the foodie community.  I have to confess that I am not one of these people.  I enjoy Starbucks and its ubiquity.  While I'm not fond of the prices (they do allow local coffeehouses to charge more and stay afloat) and it may certainly not be the best cup of coffee around; I think they still offer a quality, reliable and available product.

That being said, I'm still a big fan of local coffeehouses and as I was walking to Whole Foods in Clarendon one day, I spotted Boccato just across the street.  The first thing you notice as you walk in is the tall, airy space off to the right that's the sitting area.  It has almost a Tiki bar sort of feel but with a burnt orange floor instead of sand.

The owner (or at least I think it was but it may just have been the guy behind the counter) spoke with what I think is an Italian accent but could very well be South American and was appropriately gruff giving off an air of "it is absolutely your privilege to try my coffee" but in the most non-offensive way.  This gave a certain air of authenticity to the place and while I did not try the gelato, the selection looked delicious.  The first thing I noticed on the coffee menu was a Nutella latte and while I love a plain latte or espresso as much as the next guy, I couldn't resist trying the Nutella since something about that hazelnut spread always evokes something from my childhood.  While I was already dutifully impressed by the quirkiness of the place, it completely won me over when the guy behind the counter handed me the spoon he had used to add Nutella to the latte so I could lick it and savor the sweetness of the spread.  As he finished the coffee, he used the milk froth to create the typical leaf pattern which I've always been a sucker for and reminds me of one of my favorite coffee shops in Hoboken, NJ, Dames Coffee.  The coffee itself was flavorful and rich and while you might think the sweetness of the Nutella would overpower the coffee but that was simply not the case.  While I only had one cup of coffee, my initial take on Boccato is that it is place that should be visited again and again.


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