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Best Chocolates

e
emilyw Oct 25, 2007 06:59 PM

Where to find the best chocolates?

Everything from gooey old fashioned hand-rolled truffles to precious little high-end bites.

What's your favorite?

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  1. Bottom Feeding Foodie Oct 25, 2007 07:07 PM

    Top two favorites are La Maison du Chocolat, their Truffles in particular and from Leonidas any of their Belgian pralines are amazing. You can not go wrong with either. As for chocolate dishes in a restaurant, I would say the chocolate tasting at Jean Georges gets my vote.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Bottom Feeding Foodie
      u
      UES Mayor Oct 26, 2007 04:16 AM

      Totally agree w bottom feeding-and as w vosoges -see below-i thought the taste was downright strange. And they store thier chocolate under warm display lights!! how can that be a good thing!

    2. vvvindaloo Oct 25, 2007 07:56 PM

      For something different, I really enjoy the exotic chocolates at Vosges (olive oil, curry, bacon, etc.). Also, another unique chocolate source, often overlooked, is RICHART Design et Chocolat- the name really says it all: this is the most beautifully artistic chocolate you will ever see/eat. For classic chi chi NY chocolate shops, you cannot go wrong with champagne truffles from Teuscher (as well as their chocolate with marzipan), and La Maison du Chocolat. For a whimsical, fun atmosphere (complete with demonstrations and life size painted chocolate farm animals/holiday symbols/novelties made of chocolate), there is Jacques Torres. Finally, for the ultimate luxury in fancy traditional European chocolates, there is Debauve & Gallais. Their shop is really more like a Cartier showroom!

      1. k
        kathryn Oct 25, 2007 09:39 PM

        My shortlist would be:

        1. Kee's (truffles and the like, macarons). A smaller selection and no chocolate bars or dipped things but it's very well edited and super fresh. Must be consumed within a day or two. Nowhere to sit though.
        2. La Maison du Chocolat (they're from Paris, though) (hot chocolate, ice cream, macarons). The truffles, etc. are from Paris but they make the ice cream on site. There are some tables and chairs here to enjoy your treats as well as an espresso/hot chocolate bar.
        3. Jacques Torres (hot chocolate, cookies, bars, lots of chocolate dipped treats). It looks like Willy Wonka inside with lots of machinery and glass windows. They also have a espresso/chocolate bar. It's fun to hang around Jacques Torres for a little while. Very, very large selection of chocolate items and his other stuff keeps longer, and is well packed (perfect to give as gifts back home).

        I like but do not love Richard. Same with Vosges -- like the concept but rarely the execution of the exotic truffles. I want to like Li-Lac but it's usually too homey / not high quality enough for me.

        I have been meaning to go back to Michel Cluizel in the ABC Home and Carpet store now that Will Goldfarb (ex Room 4 Dessert) is in the kitchen.

        See also:
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/443395
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/447680

        5 Replies
        1. re: kathryn
          c
          chocokitty Oct 28, 2007 01:19 PM

          Actually Will 's desserts won't be available until December according to the Times:
          http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/10/din...

          1. re: chocokitty
            k
            kathryn Oct 28, 2007 05:48 PM

            Thanks!

            (PS Let me know when you go! :)

            1. re: kathryn
              c
              chocokitty Oct 28, 2007 06:35 PM

              No problem! :)

          2. re: kathryn
            c
            CornflakeGirl Oct 29, 2007 07:42 AM

            Kee's would be my #1 go-to chocolate shop.

            I love the design of Vosges (both the shop and the packaging) but I think the actual chocolates have a mass-produced flavor. They remind me of Godiva in a way. Every time I visit I want to like everything but it just doesn't happen. I'm down to only the bars now and even those have become somewhat disappointing. I feel like they tried to do too much all at once by releasing so many new combinations.

            1. re: kathryn
              misschopsticks Nov 5, 2007 03:31 PM

              Definitely Kee's for quality and taste. Her chocolates are made fresh daily, on-premises. AND she has some fantastic flavors you won't find anywhere else like Mango Green Tea and Thai Chili. Her macarons are even more to-die-for. Vosges, Marie Belle, Torres pale in comparison in terms of freshness, richness, vibrancy and balance of flavors.

              http://misschopsticks.blogspot.com/20...

            2. l
              Lucia Oct 26, 2007 07:52 AM

              Pierre Marcolini, La Maison du Chocolat, and Kees

              6 Replies
              1. re: Lucia
                vvvindaloo Oct 26, 2007 08:27 AM

                Lucia, can you tell me more about Pierre Marcolini? I may have to take a field trip...! TIA.

                1. re: vvvindaloo
                  l
                  Lucia Oct 26, 2007 08:45 AM

                  He's a Belgian chocolatier. High-end chocolates with thin shells and delicious, sometimes interesting fillings (like earl grey). My parents brought a box home from Brussels for me, which I loved. I've only been to the midtown outpost once. They're expensive, but delicious.

                  1. re: Lucia
                    vvvindaloo Oct 26, 2007 10:22 AM

                    Thank you- all I needed to hear was that he was Belgian- I am so there.

                    1. re: vvvindaloo
                      Striver Nov 6, 2007 07:19 AM

                      If you're into Belgian chocolates, I like Martine's for that style ( and prefer the store on 82nd off 1st), particularly the ones made with whipped cream. Here's their selection: http://martineschocolates.com/choc_me...

                      1. re: Striver
                        k
                        kathryn Nov 6, 2007 08:49 AM

                        Martine's always seems too soft for me (maybe it has more cream than others?) but I really like the "oyster."

                2. re: Lucia
                  Sophia. Nov 6, 2007 06:38 AM

                  I second Pierre Marcolini...that earl grey chocolate is off the hook.

                3. JungMann Oct 26, 2007 08:23 AM

                  I really love Vosges and have been visiting them since they first opened in Chicago. I do think, though, that some of the more exotic flavors can be a little *too* exotic for most chocolate lovers (i.e. balsamic and white chocolate), though many are superb (e.g. salt, almonds and dark chocolate).

                  Maison du Chocolat is good. Jacques Torres wasn't my cup of tea. The chocolate was a bit too "bitter" for my tastebuds.

                  1. c
                    chocokitty Oct 26, 2007 09:22 AM

                    I really love La Maison du Chocolat, Kee's, Pierre Marcolini, and Michel Cluizel.

                    I like Vosges only for their Mo Bacon milk chocolate bar, besides that, their chocolates are fine but it's not executed well. Their hot chocolate is fine but I prefer Jacques Torres' more since it's cheaper and tastes so much better.

                    I don't like Leonidas that much since I think their chocolate's a bit too sweet for my taste, but then again it's nearly three years since I've touched their stuff and not really interested in trying them again.

                    Richart has artful little bonbons but it's ridiculously expensive for something that tastes very good but it's not Earth-shattering.

                    Tina
                    http://thewanderingeater.wordpress.com

                    1. Nina_P Oct 26, 2007 09:57 AM

                      I love Jaques Torres chocolates, especially these truffles: raspeberry creme, ginger, wicked, and hearts of passion. The wicked hot chocolate is divine.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Nina_P
                        k
                        kathryn Oct 26, 2007 01:47 PM

                        I actually think the Vosges spicy hot chocolate is better since it's more spicy.

                      2. ellenost Oct 26, 2007 02:18 PM

                        I'm a big fan of Leonidas on Madison & E. 51 St. and Neuhaus (a few locations). I love milk chocolates with cream fillings-they both make some great selections.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: ellenost
                          l
                          LolaNYC Oct 26, 2007 04:10 PM

                          -La Masion du Chocolat
                          -Richart - French chocolate. Worth a visit to the store at 7E 55th st.
                          -Christopher Norman Chocolate http://www.christophernormanchocolate...
                          -Laderach - not sure where you can find it in NYC these days, it's wonderful Swiss chocolate. One of the best Champagne truffles
                          -Teuscher's - for the Champagne truffles

                          I not a fan of Leonidas at all, so not special IMO.

                          Michel Cluizel was intriguing and I bought a bunch. I was very excited, the flavors sounded great and they are beautiful. I found them disappointing and incredibly over priced. I'd pay a lot for great chocolate, but I didn't think it was up to par.

                          1. re: LolaNYC
                            t
                            tpigeon Oct 28, 2007 09:57 AM

                            Interesting, the Michel Cluizel box I had from paris was the best of the bunch when I went chocolate hunting there. I guess NYC is not as good...

                        2. r
                          rekha Oct 27, 2007 01:16 AM

                          Kee's!

                          1. guttergourmet Oct 28, 2007 08:26 AM

                            See my champagne truffles post.

                            1. m
                              marlie202 Oct 28, 2007 09:17 AM

                              at the Essex Street Market in NYC a woman is selling handmade chocolates -the best I have eaten anywhere

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: marlie202
                                k
                                kathryn Oct 28, 2007 09:52 AM

                                Roni-Sue's Chocolates, right? Brand new store?

                                http://nymag.com/daily/food/2007/10/_...

                                1. re: kathryn
                                  m
                                  marlie202 Oct 29, 2007 08:22 AM

                                  yes--Roni-Sue's opens today at Essex Street Market--the chocolates are delicious!

                                2. re: marlie202
                                  guttergourmet Dec 31, 2007 01:48 PM

                                  Yeah-Roni-Sue is on a par with Kee's.

                                  1. re: guttergourmet
                                    MMRuth Feb 3, 2008 01:32 PM

                                    I found Roni-Sue's chocolates mediocre at best - to me, Kee's is in a different league - though the buttertoffee crunch was very good.

                                    Edit -oops - I remember we had this discussion on another thread - didn't mean to "beat a dead horse"!

                                3. k
                                  kam0424 Oct 29, 2007 07:31 AM

                                  Roni-Sue’s Chocolates opens today!

                                  1. a
                                    atraxia Oct 29, 2007 07:33 AM

                                    what about fudge? do any of these chocolate shops or any other type of sweets shop offer good fudge?

                                    1. l
                                      lookingforpig Oct 29, 2007 12:28 PM

                                      Christopher Norman in the financial district has great chocolate.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: lookingforpig
                                        MMRuth Oct 29, 2007 12:35 PM

                                        I'm not a huge fan of his chocolates - strike me as too rich - but that's just a personal preference.

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