It was several years ago now, but I still remember it so fondly. Will and I were having dinner at an Italian joint (big shock, right?) in West Hollywood called IL Piccolino.

We’d shared a plate of Fritto Misto (Italian for delicious fried goodies like calamari, zucchini and shrimp). Spotted the Mom from Home Alone (yes, that was our big celebrity sighting, ha ha) and devoured our pasta (spaghetti carbonara for him, lobster ravioli for me). But despite being full, we were craving just a little something sweet, the dolce, if you will.

So we hopped over from Italy to France and ordered the chocolate mousse. And apparently because it was our first time dining at IL Piccolino, the chef decided to treat us. Moments later, the server brought out a GIANT GLASS TRIFLE BOWL nearly filled to the brim with enough chocolate mousse to feed a family of eight.

We couldn’t believe our good luck but promised ourselves we’d only have a bite or two. But this chocolate mousse wasn’t your ordinary chocolate mousse, mind you. It was pure chocolate nirvana and light-as-a-cloud heaven. If you haven’t figured it out by now, we easily surpassed our two-bite goal and gave eating the contents of the bowl our best shot before surrendering to our stomachs’ pleas to quit already.

Now every time I order chocolate mousse, the IL Piccolino bowl of bliss is what I can’t help measuring it against. Hoping to recreate that moment in my own kitchen for Valentine’s Day last week, I gave Tyler Florence’s recipe a go. And while it could’ve chilled a bit longer for even better results, my guests and I were pretty happy with how it turned out (all four portions were gone in no time).

I used Lindt chocolate for an authentically Euro experience and would love to see how other brands would fare in comparison. And while it’s a dessert that can’t be rushed because of all the methodical folding that ensures it’s feather-light, it was totally worth it. I topped mine with whipped cream and a chocolate covered strawberry because it seemed right for the holiday, but I bet some additional chocolate shaved on top or maybe espresso-covered chocolates wouldn’t be a bad thing either.