Chocolate Haven ~ Orderinny

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Chocolate Haven

Trust the French to call a less than healthy obsession on haute chocolaterie "un péché mignon", or an adorable sin. Well, adorable or not, I do have a pretty big sweet tooth, and an appreciation for good chocolate. Thank goodness I live in New York, the land of $5 chocolate bars and gourmet chocolate shoppes, ranging from artisanal local names like Kee's to conglomeratized mega- brands such as Fauchon and La Maison du Chocolate. Chocolate Haven sits in the middle of the spectrum, a large enough enterprise to have 2 factories and a website selling a whole gamut of cocoa-loaded goodies and a celebrity chocolatier at the helm, but still small and localized enough to be quintessentially New York.
Chocolate Haven's owner is Jacque Torres, dessert wunderkind and ex-dessert chef at the legendary Le Cirque. Besides all those titles, he has also been called the city's Willy Wonka and in his shop/factory down on Hudson Street, I could see why. Instead of the austere decor in La Maison du Chocolate, the walls within Chocolate Haven are painted in vibrant reds and oranges. The servers (aka. Jacque's Oompa Loompas) were likewise dressed in bright reds, greens and yellow tops and all wore weird multicolored braided headdress of sorts, as though as they were wrongly transplanted in the greyish cityscape, and should have been in a tropical rainforest instead.
Some things to try while in the shop are the signature hot chocolate (in the normal and wicked version, wicked being spiced i think); the chocolate truffles and the chocolate chip cookies, and during the hot summer months, the decadent cookies and icecream, in the form of an ice-cream sandwich. And if you are looking for some more durable gifts, the chocolate bars, as well as the bags of chocolate dipped sweets, ranging from marshmallows to expresso beans to malt balls. While not as blatantly New York as bagels and pretzels, these chocolates make an equally worthy food present from the Big Apple.

Chocolate Haven
350 Hudson St

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