Monday, April 16, 2007

Brooklyn Chocolate

Brooklyn, New York City's most populous and possibly hippest borough, is a vastly misunderstood place. "I want to see Brooklyn," says many an out-of-town guest, as though it were a collection of quaint streets whose pavement could be covered in the course of an hour or two. Making any sense of Brooklyn's 100 square miles requires focus.

I choose to focus on chocolate:

The Chocolate Room: The most refined of Brooklyn's chocolate outfits, this softly-lit rectangle of a cafe serves four varieties of hot chocolate and a layer cake that was featured in a recent issue of O Magazine. I stumbled inside one night last week when I was looking for a Mexican restaurant down the block and discussed the display of Knipchildt Chocolates with a lovely man (if he wasn't the owner, he was an admirably well-informed employee). I walked out with a peanut-butter cup made in-house and the Ivory Coast 75% Cacao bar from Theo (the new-to-me but universally-revered organic producer from Oregon).

Cocoa Bar: Despite the extensive wine list, this second Park Slope dessert spot does most of its business on coffee and rather ordinary Leonidas chocolate during the daylight hours. A Manhattan location is scheduled to open later this month (on the famed foodie strip of Clinton Street), which may do a better trade in truffle-and-wine pairings and port-soaked figs.

Jacques Torres Chocolate: Torres is the man who proved that you could open a shop in the middle of nowhere (or at least in a neighborhood whose name is an acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) and still get customers to line up for Wicked Hot Chocolate.


Blogger David Blaine said...

Theo is in fact from the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle. They are barely three years old. They have chocolate that is fair trade and organic but not all is both or either. Visit the Theo website for more info but more importantly try all of their single origin bars. I believe them to be the best made chocolates in America. And, no, I do not work for the company. I am a fan of any chocolate company that thinks to introduce an 84% Ghana bar as their first in the line. It shows they mean business.

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