Welcome back to my project of slowly reviewing all the coffee and cakes in Tallinn with my friend Greta, this week: we were joined by Zanna and went to a chocolaterie!
Address: Vene 6, 10140 Tallinn
Date of visit: March 15, 2018
Drinks: Coffee (Greta), Hot Chocolate with Ginger and Orange (Mab), Spring Garden Tea (Zanna)
Cakes: Pierre House Cake (Mab and Zanna) and Chocolate Cheesecake (Greta)
Review: This was another happy accident cafe because we originally tried to go to Cafe Amore but it was mysteriously closed so after wandering around in the cold for a few minutes, we instead found Pierre Chocolaterie. Located in the heart of Old Town this place is somewhat difficult to find as it’s in an alcove area off Vene.
Once you’ve gotten yourself there though the experience is really unique. This chocolate shop feels like something that is a mash up of time periods and ideas. The seating area is a bunch of beautiful lacquer tables, velvet clothes, and thick, almost medieval looking tapestries. Chairs and booths line the two rooms worth of tables and during the summer there is room for an outdoor seating area as well. It’s hard to put a finger on what the interior reminded me of but its somewhere between grandma style and sock hop.
They played soft jazz and German folks with no worry. All our drinks and cakes were served on matching sets of lavish looking plates. The cups for everything that isn’t a simple coffee are elaborate as the surroundings. The case was full of not just chocolates but many cakes, half of them with more than 6 layers. The service was impeccable with soft spoken and sweet cashiers who wore old-timey carnival barker outfits, including the thin brimmed round hat with ribbon stripe on it.
Their menu included actual food in addition to cakes and pastries and chocolates and their drinks had many types of fancy hot chocolate and fun flavored teas. Since this place is a chocolatier it shouldn’t be surprising that the whole establishment smells faintly of cocoa and the lingering sweetness of burnt sugars.
Zanna and I both got the house style cake. The “Pierre” if you will. With name placard made of chocolate sitting high on top of (what I counted as) NINE LAYERS, this is probably one of the biggest pieces of cakes I’ve had in a long time. On top of all that, each plate is drizzled with a HEALTHY portion of semi-sweet liquid chocolate and on the side a dollop of jam and a cherry.
This cake is impossible to describe. You would think nine layers of anything would just taste like a mess but it doesn’t. It’s sweeter than I would like for such a big piece but the flavors all blend seamlessly that each bite is a strange adventure. Sometimes mousse, vanilla, and the a thick taste of cherry come up from inside the cake and at other times you can taste the bitter and dark chocolate, the caramels, or a nip of strong alcohol laced inside this mystery tower. This cake is a fantastic treat and I’m thinking of throwing a party just to buy a whole one.
Greta went for this chocolate cheesecake. I didn’t try it because my hands (mouth?) were full with my own giant cake but this is more than the MERE MORAL CHEESECAKE we had at Wabadus. Thick layers of chocolate cake, chocolate cheese cake, regular cheese cake, and then it starts all over again. Once more just covered in liquid chocolate with jam and cherries on the side if you needed some more sweetness to complete your snacking.
We definitely went for the visually impressive cakes but they did have a handful of more familiar ones as well which were likely good too. Greta gave a thumbs up to her cake and her coffee and then ordered an ice cream sundae (which included more chocolate, more jam, and more cherries in case you were worried!). Zanna stuck with the most sensible tea and I forgot we were getting giant chocolate cakes and ordered a hot chocolate with ginger and orange which was delicious but I couldn’t finish because it was all too much chocolate for one body to handle. It would be lovely to come in here and order EITHER a hot chocolate OR a sweet but maybe steer clear of double dipping on the chocolate since both the cake and the drink were enough to last a week.
Overall, this is an eclectic space that made me feel both very at home but also kind of out place. The cost of the cakes and the drinks were actually pretty high and the type of service we got leads me to believe this becomes an unmitigated disaster/tourist trap during the summer. The charm of this place was being able to sit on a comfortable couch, which felt like it might have been in some grandmothers living room and just have a chat with a big piece of cake. A great experience but one I find might not be replicated with every visit.
Coffee: out of 5
Cake: out of 5
As always, some pictures are from the lovely Greta!