964 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10021
(212) 452-2259

On the day that I was born, particles of light left the star Delta Iridani. Traveling at nearly seven hundred million miles per hour, their journey across the cosmos took them past other stars and planets and giant gas clouds. They saw things that, despite whatever advances science may make, I, in my corporeal frame, can never hope to see. Upon reaching Earth, these particles prepared for the end of their trip. They entered the atmosphere, crossed through the clouds, between the canyons of high-rise condos that have become the Upper East Side landscape, and arrived at Sicaffe a solid hour before Speeds did, whose journey began somewhere around 68th Street (give or take).

Speeds eventually arrived and, after being greeted accordingly, ordered her usual from this Italian-style espresso cafe's selection of cakes and sandwiches. A Chocolate Chip Cookie. "Do you know why they make the best chocolate chip cookies?" They discovered the Pepperidge Farm section of the supermarket? "They use just the right amount of sugar and salt." And it's true. They're not too sweet with just a hint of salt. And, as cookies go, it wasn't half bad. The best? She certainly thinks so. In the meantime, I ordered their Apple Crumb Cake. Also, not bad. It crumbled in all the right places, with chunks of apple buried deep within its crust. But is it any better than something I could get elsewhere? Probably not, but I'm not complaining.

I ordered myself a standard Cappuccino and it was fine. Aside from the fact it was a little thin for my taste, it was everything a Cappuccino should be. Dark and bitter espresso underneath a sweet creamy foam with requisite heart carved on top. Get a glass of water for your soon-to-be dry mouth. Speeds, culinary rut in hand, ordered her usual, a Latte, which she loved. Stealing a sip, I can vouch wholeheartedly that it was, in fact, a pretty good latte. Again, the best? No. She would like me to plug her favorite Sicaffe espresso drink, by the way, which is the Triestino Doppio. Go give that a try, and, in the meantime, gimme a sip of that water!

On the back of the menu is a shout-out to Sicaffe's signature drink, the Triestino Cappuccino, which quotes New York Magazine as saying the that it "is close to the ideal - a syrupy shot of rich espresso, a righteous tuft of silky foam - and all the sweet, bitter, smooth components are as well balanced as a Cirque du Soleil tightrope artist." Righteous foam? "I smite thee, decaf! Hallelujah!" You can't seriously say things like that with a straight face. Naturally, as a wide grin began to grow, I knew that trying this Cirque du Soleil-in-my-mouth drink was part of my destiny. And did it quite live up to the pretension? Guess.

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