Thursday, April 17, 2008

Roba Dolce's Dolce Vita

I've known of Roba Dolce! for some time thanks to the freezer at Dave's Market. I knew they were from Providence. I knew they made gelato! I did not know about they're Italian-styled cafes on Thames in Newport, and Thayer in Providence.

During a recent four-location food bender on Thayer street, where I pumped myself so full that I had a hard time sitting in my car, I had to finish my run with some espresso. Too bad I chose to get said espresso from Roba Dolce! Too bad that espresso came in the form of an affogato. Affogato literally means 'drowned.' I know this because I used Babelfish. And that's pretty much what they do. They drown a healthy scoop of gelato in a shot of espresso. I got chocolate. Just what I needed.

Roba Dolce! makes some of the best gelato I've ever had. It's soft, rich, creamy, and bursting with all the right flavors. For example, the chocolate is a deep, darker chocolate flavor. It's not the most sweet thing on the planet and for a real chocolate lover, that's fantastic. Combined with a well-pulled espresso, this was one dynamite affogato.

Also on the menu was cappuccino. He free-poured it! A real barista! So impressive. Apparently, in the recent Starbucks re-training sessions, they were supposedly going to be taught how to free-pour a drink. Well, all I ever see is spooning. Not here, though. It was a very good cappuccino. One of the better I've had in Rhode Island. They used a lighter roast, how European of them, instead of the darker roasts popular in this country. Not better or worse, but my own proclivities lie in darker varieties. I preferred Coffee Exchange.

Coffee Exchange cannot hold a candle to what else is available in Roba Dolce!, though. A wide selection of scrumptious gelato, sandwiches, panini, and the self-styled "best lasagna on Thayer Street." A large variety of cakes, pastries, the omni-present tiramisu, and sweetbread-gelato sandwiches would keep my busy for weeks. This is a very unhealthy place.

So in conclusion, I didn't have enough even for a Quickview, but I'm definitely going back. A full review will come soon, but don't wait! Go! It was really good. A very wide selection, fun atmosphere, even if the refrigeration unit shakes the floor like a 4.7, and some of the best gelato in New England make Roba Dolce! a must-try.

UPDATE: 11/10/2008
As of February 16th, 2008, Roba!Dolce is out of business. The eviction notice was placed on the door and referenced a law suit between the owner of the cafe and what I imagine is some investment group or perhaps the owner of the property. Reagrdless, it's unfortunate. This adds to the growing number of vacancies on Thayer and it's kind of scary.

View Larger Map

178 Angell St
Providence, RI 02906

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

I've had excellent cappuccinos there as well!