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Aug 29, 2005 12:21 PM

cocoabar vs. Chocolate Room

  • s

This weekend my boyfriend and I stopped in cocoabar, the new dessert place on 7th Ave. We're both huge fans of the Chocolate Room on 5th Ave, but this is much closer to our apartment. Sadly, we will be making the trip over to Fifth the next time we're craving something sweet.

I know cocoabar just opened, so I assumed there would be a few kinks to work out (service was spotty, a cappucino came with a wooden stir, and a handful of paper napkins and sugar packets a la Starbucks) but we were really disappointed with the entire experience. I really couldn't believe how small the actual dessert list was and skimpy the portions were compared to the beautiful desserts we've enjoyed at the Chocolate Room.

One plus is that they offer wine and chocolate pairings. The downside is that they were out of the chocolate dipped figs I ordered, and that the entire pairing comes with two pieces of chocolate--pretty skimpy for $12. My boyfriend ordered chocolates a la carte from the front case, and he had to go back inside to choose what he wanted and then tell the waitress because they didn't have a printed list.

Also, the space is HUGE. It's bigger than most restaurants in Park Slope, plus they have a large patio space out back. Nice, modern furniture inside, but the place doesn't seem to have a cohesive look throughout--the patio has a sort-of Southwestern vibe (?) with a few cactus and random terra cotta pots lying about.

Essentially, this place is a bar with a short dessert menu and a decent selection of fancy chocolates. True dessert lovers, head over to the Chocolate Room. The menu is incredible, the space is really cute, and the service is great.

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  1. p

    Believe it or not, I was just wondering yesterday about the Cocoabar vs. Chocolate Room issue. Thanks for the report.

    2 Replies
    1. re: parkslopemama

      Stopped by there on the way home from work yesterday.... The baked goods (brownie, choc.chip cookie) were not that great, definitely not as good as the Chocolate Room!

      Still, it's a nice space. I'd be willing to try it again if I'm in the area, and don't feel like sharing the Connecticut Muffin benches with 2,000 other people.

      1. re: parkslopemama

        I've never been to the chocolate room (in fact, didn't even know about it), but so far, cocoabar may become my favorite place in Park Slope for coffee and reading. It doesn't have the baby-mosh-pit-rock-radio problems of the Tea Lounges.

    2. im really sorry that someone had to be so unimaginative as to knock off a very well-executed idea that was obviously a passion of the choclolate room owners. This seems like this is a cynical attempt to cash in on the sudden New York "chococraze".
      This is one reason 7th ave is choc a bloc with mediocrity.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jason Carey

        Chocolate Room has such an atmosphere and obvious attention to detail in the resurrection of a once crappy space, you have to believe in the ownership's intention to provide quality.

        That said, it's just a matter of time until a "knock-off" suspect becomes a victim of the 7th Avenue "jinx-spot" syndrome.

        Anything opening up in the nether-reaches of Park Slope rents these days must have a great business plan, counting on long-term unlimited disposable income or serves/sells in huge volume to survive.

        With a little r & d, CocoaBar could triumph perhaps selling hard-to-find chocolates, novelty items and having kids' birthday parties in their oversized space.

      2. We also ended up at Cocobar this weekend, after trekking over to The Chocolate Room only to find it closed for vacation! We have actually never been to Chocolate Room before, and had out-of-town guests in tow, so we were disappointed. Anyway, we were not impressed with the desserts at Cocobar either...service was fine, and our cakes were generously portioned, but kind of overly gooey and too sweet (we had a chocolate raspberry cake and a hazelnut cake, neither of which were on the menu. They were out of the valhrona chocolate cake, our first choice.)

        The nice thing about it though, is the ability to have a dessert wine with your cake. But for strictly dessert I look forward to trying the Chocolate Room, as it sounds from these posts that their desserts are of higher quality.

        1. Any new updates on these opinions?

          2 Replies
          1. re: tamasha

            I much prefer the Chocolate Room's chocolates -- they are by Fritz Knipschildt and I think they're the best chocolates ever. Excellent chocolate and imaginative and delicious centers. I've never had the desserts at either place, but my impression is that the Chocolate Room's are made on premises and the Cocoa Bar's are purchased from places like Baked. (I do like the Cocoa Bar's coffee, however.)

            1. re: tamasha

              I have tosay, I have been disappointed with Chocolate Room lately. I only go for the chocolate cake, which the last few times has been on the dry side. They're a bit inconsistent.

            2. I feel that the Cocoa bar has gotten much better. They now carry more dark chocolates and have stepped up some of the desserts. I still prefer the chocolate Room, but now when I visit Cocoa Bar, I don't feel I settled for 2nd best