Six Nights and Five Cups

Tomorrow I jet back to the coast but I have a few thoughts to leave you with. First, I thought I’d share my chocolate in a cup experiences. I know there are probably better places for hot chocolate (and hot chocolate seasons is waning), and I consulted no lists before I consumed these but feel free to tell me where I went wrong and I’ll try to right it next time I visit.

Joe, The Art of Coffee – Waverly St. – this little cup (a two ounce demitasse) looked a little skimpy at first. I got their spicy version which was thick and rich, more like the European-style hot chocolate I had in Spain when I was a teen. The spice was a pleasant burn, also I had this on Saturday so the warmth of the liquid and spice was a welcome change from the craptacular weather. Served in a stoneware cup. $3.25 du Chocolat – Rockefeller Plaza – another upscale joint, but at least this one didn’t notice me taking photos. Larger cup, the chocolate had more of a grain to it, as if made from cocoa instead of melted chocolate. Served in a six ounce cup with a side of whipped cream. The drink was poured from a thermos, which was plenty hot. The ambiance was spoiled by three Dutch (I think) fellows who were obviously talking about sexual matters (though not in English) with some loud sound effects and gestures. Served in a china cup. $8.00

Jacques Torres – (yes, I mentioned this before) – a spectaculary rich and milky hot chocolate without a hint of grain. I got mine as a mix of wicked (their spiced version) and orange (which had real candied orange zest). There are other flavor varieties as well and each one is made fresh, just for you. I got the smallest they offered and still couldn’t drink more than half. The tables are very low and seating is little padded stools – it made me feel like I was visiting a pre-school. I noticed when I left that there were some tall bistro tables on the other side of the store. Served in a paper cup. $3.95.

Pierre Marcolini – Park Avenue – haute chocolate, but oddly enough, the hot chocolate was more affordable. Again served in an eentzy weentzy two ounce demitasse, I didn’t want any more than that anyway. Nice and mellow with some strong fruity notes from the dark chocolate. The chocolate is absurdly expensive at $60 a pound. Served in a china cup. $2.50.

Extra Credit: – a chocolate cupcake from the no-wheat-no-dairy-no-egg-no-nuts-no-sugar bakery. It was damn good. I’m serious – for a cupcake with lots of substitutes it was moist and fluffy and rich. I wanted my little trek down in this part of town to be all healthy, but I was saddened to find that the other bakery, Happy, Happy, Happy that sold similar fare has closed. (Note: though Babycakes does sell gluten free, this particular cake was not.)

2 Comments so far

  1. Chris Trent (unregistered) on April 13th, 2006 @ 2:34 pm

    yum. hot chocolate is one of my very favorite winter things, and i really enjoyed reading this. now i’m experiencing a craving, even though it feels like summer outside.

    i’m a *huge* fan of jacques torres (the wicked version, of course), and the only place i would immediately add to your list of places to try (since you seem to be such a fan of the thick, rich, hard-to-finish variety, as i am) would be city bakery. and don’t forget one of their awesome homemade marshmallows, if you can stomach the sugar overload…

  2. cybele (unregistered) on April 13th, 2006 @ 2:48 pm

    Thanks for the suggestion Chris. I’m off to LA today, but I’ll put it on my list for next time (weather permitting).

    I should add that I had two more today from my little walk around SoHo:

    Marie Belle – extra rich American (made with milk) Aztec chocolate – it was pure chocolate flavor and not sweet at all.

    Vosges – I went for the White Hot Chocolate – which wasn’t sweet at all, just creamy and rich with infusions of lavender and lemon. It reminded me of a drinkable rice pudding/creme brulee.

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