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Chocolate tour of DC

SLOLindsay Jul 3, 2007 12:15 PM

On the hunt for amazing chocolate!

I am planning a five-day trip to DC with my husband this August, and as such I've been mining the boards for ideas. We've had fun before doing "chocolate tours" in other cities -- San Francisco, Chicago, New York -- and I would love to do the same thing here.

One restriction this time: we won't have a car, and we're staying near Dupont Circle. Any recs?

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    hopeinmee RE: SLOLindsay Jul 3, 2007 01:19 PM

    There are a couple Chocolate places in Old Town Alexandria on along King Street you may want to try.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hopeinmee
      monavano RE: hopeinmee Jul 3, 2007 01:32 PM

      Kingsbury Chocolates in Old Town would be a long-ish metro ride and a bus down King St. In Georgetown there is Leonida's Chocolates. The circulator bus will get you there.
      http://www.google.com/search?sourceid...

      http://www.dccirculator.com/

      Kron's
      http://www.kronchocolatier.com/

      Neuhaus
      http://www.neuhauschocolate.com/

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      Elyssa RE: SLOLindsay Jul 3, 2007 01:32 PM

      Are you looking for chocolate candy or chocolate desserts, cakes, cookies etc. as well. Basically are you looking for restaurants as well as chocolate shops?

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        gooseterp RE: SLOLindsay Jul 3, 2007 02:00 PM

        There is a place in Adam's Morgan ( a quick walk from Dupont) on 1904 18th Street (down a set of steps) is called Biagio Chocolates. They don't make chocolates there but they sell some fine chocolates. I haven't been but I have heard good things

        2 Replies
        1. re: gooseterp
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          cannonball RE: gooseterp Jul 10, 2007 08:31 PM

          I've been to Biagio's and it's worth visiting to meet Biagio, who is super friendly and willing to talk about chocolate all day. He's a flight attendant as well, and picked up a love of fine chocolates from all around the world. He doesn't make chocolates, but instead sells local chocolates from around DC and NOVA (I don't remember the chocolatiers). He also sells chocolates from NY (Marie Claire and Vosges), Paris and elsewhere in Europe. There are also lots of samples!

          1. re: cannonball
            t
            The Food Buster RE: cannonball Jun 10, 2010 10:13 AM

            I completely agree. I've actually had the chance to talk with Biagio a few times, and he's extremely knowledgeable.

            I do chocolate bar reviews, so I need a store that carries all the best brands of gourmet chocolate. And if there's one place that carries just about every single one of my favorite brands (Amedei, Valrhona, Michel Cluizel, etc.), it's Biagio's. It's because Biagio traveled around Europe and implemented the European (esp. German) model in making the store, so he really knows what belongs in there, how to do tastings, etc.

            At the same time, I wouldn't really recommend it for the bon bons, but rather for the chocolate bars. He carries only random bon bons from specific chocolatiers, though a lot of them are local varieties if you do want to try that.

            Take care,
            The Food Buster
            http://www.thefoodbuster.com

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          wombat RE: SLOLindsay Jul 7, 2007 06:26 PM

          I hate to be a party pooper but I suspect you may be in for disappointment. I've done this sort of thing in NY and in my experience, you can take a better chocolate tour of just Brooklyn than of the whole DC area. We're just behind the curve here chocolate-wise. And the places that might be worth going to are hard without a car - like the Alexandria places already mentioned, and there's a place in Olney I keep meaning to try but how often does a person get to Olney?

          5 Replies
          1. re: wombat
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            repete RE: wombat Jul 9, 2007 08:05 AM

            Not very often ... and I live in MontCo, but could you share the Olney rec?

            BTW, the ChocoPass in Turin is the best one of these I've ever seen. Better than Swiss and Belgian offerings in my book.

            1. re: repete
              ChocoHound RE: repete Jul 9, 2007 08:48 AM

              Belletini Chocolates Inc--- I think that's the place in Olney.

              1. re: ChocoHound
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                wombat RE: ChocoHound Jul 9, 2007 03:52 PM

                That looks like it. I'm not sure because I keep the newspaper clipping in my car in the hopes that I will someday be in the neighborhood! But the location looks right.

                1. re: ChocoHound
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                  repete RE: ChocoHound Aug 16, 2007 11:46 AM

                  Just had some from there today -- among the best in the region.

                  Apparently a few idiots doing the local reviews ripped the chocolatier for using wax, when he was really using a intensive "tempering" process that makes the surface of some candies shiny.

                  Great chocolate and a nice variety of well-crafted fun.

              2. re: wombat
                inbox_blues RE: wombat Jul 9, 2007 12:17 PM

                I agree -- DC just isn't that hip. I know people have had lengthy discussions on here about finding gourmet cupcakes and how other cities have us beat! I think the same goes for decent chocolate, too. Too bad, I love love love chocolate.

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                isabellaflynn RE: SLOLindsay Jul 10, 2007 10:13 AM

                You're not going to find great chocolate here - or even fantastic desserts for that matter. I agree with the poster about the tour in NYC - with places like Kees, Jacques Torres etc. Nothing here will ever top it. We don't even have a great dessert spot like Extroadinary desserts in San Diego or Room 4 Dessert (NYC) or Sugar (Chicago). This is just not a dessert town. But if you want crabs and delicious Mid Atlantic summer produce, you've come to the right place!

                2 Replies
                1. re: isabellaflynn
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                  Teddybear RE: isabellaflynn Jul 10, 2007 05:54 PM

                  You come to d.c for the monuments and the museums. And the libraries and archives if you are a scholar. Otherwise you are bound to be disappointed.

                  1. re: Teddybear
                    antdistrict RE: Teddybear Jul 11, 2007 09:40 AM

                    Curious Grape in Shirlington has one of the biggest chocolate selections (mostly just bars/squares) imported, organic, etc. that i've seen around the DC area.

                2. m
                  msuwandi RE: SLOLindsay Jul 13, 2007 03:53 PM

                  Neuhaus from Belgium, in Union Station.
                  You can take metro to get there.
                  There are several in Georgetown, one of them is in Georgetown park mall

                  1. Lydia R RE: SLOLindsay Jul 14, 2007 05:45 AM

                    Artisan Confections is on Lee Highway in Arlington (a short cab from Clarendon? Metro). This recommendation isn't for a sitdown tasting, but for a two hour chocolate making class (you get to taste during the class and take your projects home). From their site [ http://www.artisanconfections.com/ind... ] you can get their class schedule (next two Wednesdays at 7p) and an idea of Jason Andelman's craft.

                    I have no connection to this other than taking the class last winter. Valrhona is now my chocolate crack of choice.

                    1. ChocoHound RE: SLOLindsay Aug 1, 2007 06:24 AM

                      There is a guy who sells at a number of the NoVa farmers markets. (Sorry I don't remember his name?) I've seen him Wednesdays at Clarendon and Sundays at Columbia Pike. His banner says "Virginia Chocolate Company." He keeps the chocolates in two large coolers. I've found his truffles to be quite tasty. I'm curious if others have spotted him and given any of his items a try.

                      I cannot find him on the web. Also- if you have a chance to meet him ask him how he came to make chocolates, it's an interesting story.

                      1. debit RE: SLOLindsay Aug 1, 2007 12:43 PM

                        I was at the Mitsitam Cafe today for lunch and I had a wonderful chocolate and coconut "soup" with fried slices of plantains. It was warm and spicy. Not the best thing for a totally gross, hot, humid day, but it was pretty damn fine.

                        They change their menu pretty often, so you may want to call before you go to make sure they still have it. Mitsitam is in the National Museum of the American Indian--a short metro ride from Dupont Circle.

                        1. k
                          katecm RE: SLOLindsay Aug 1, 2007 01:29 PM

                          No one is being helpful by being negative!

                          If you want to throw some restaurants into the mix for desserts, I would consider two places: Central for their KitKat bar, and 701 (just a few blocks away) for their chocolate trio dessert (just call to make sure it's on the menu).

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                            reiflame RE: SLOLindsay Apr 8, 2010 09:16 AM

                            If you were had a car I'd suggest Gearhart's in Charlottesville. Could you zipcar for a day?

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                              SimonF RE: SLOLindsay Apr 16, 2010 07:27 AM

                              I actually think DC has awesome gelato. Dolcezza and Pitango both have good chocolate gelato as well as a variety of other flavors (cardamon, rhubarb...) that vary seasonally. While we might not have great chocolate stores, I was recently in Florence and Rome. This is a bold statement, but I really, truly think the local stores here match up to those in Italy.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: SimonF
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                                chicken kabob RE: SimonF Apr 16, 2010 07:45 AM

                                Coco Sala in Penn Quarter specializes in chocolate desserts and samplers.

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                                kelly5612 RE: SLOLindsay Jun 11, 2010 09:15 AM

                                See if Citronelle still offers their chocolate degustation, and go just for dessert (unless you have about $400 for dinner, too). It's amazing.

                                Citronelle is about a 1-mile walk from Dupont...perfect for walking off chocolate!

                                Also, try Locolat Cafe, 1781 Florida Ave, which is about 3/4 mile north of Dupont. Handmade Belgian chocolates, made by real Belgians trained in, um, Belgium.

                                Both restaurants are easy walks through nice neighborhoods.

                                -----
                                Citronelle
                                3000 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007

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