- burumun Dec 14, 2007 09:04 AM
When I was in Dallas last time, we decided to stop by this place called "Chocolate Secrets" as we were passing it by on the way home after dinner. The place looked cute and interesting and we were in need of dessert.
I took some photos, which can be found here: http://gourmettravel.blogspot.com/200...
Upon entering you see that the place is actually pretty big, with cafe-type seating on your left, chocolate case in the center, and a wine cellar to your right. The nooks and corners are filled with cases displaying jewelries and other things.
The loose chocolate pieces on display were:1) some local chocolates (made in Dallas) mainly American style truffles, nuts clusters, etc 2) some Fauchon chocolates, and 3) Michel Cluizel chocolates and truffles.
They also had some super cute cakes and cupcakes, and they also serve crepes, which we didn't try this time.
We opted for a cup of hot chocolate, fresh fruit fondue, and a few chocolate pieces. I also bought the 99% Noir Infini Chocolate by Michel Cluizel as a christmas present :)
The fresh fruit fondue was a plate of fresh strawberries, and the melted chocolate was very good! They were using high quality chocolate (probably the local Dallas one?).
Same with the cup of European style hot Chocolate, which was made with real milk. Very good indeed, it was chocolatey enough for my taste (can't beat Angelina's, but who can?).
The local dallas made chocolates were actually very good. I especially enjoyed the walnut clusters. We got a dark chocolate Fauchon piece, and a dark chocolate Michel Cluizel. I think we both preferred the Michel Cluizel one ...
This place was such an awesome find! I really loved it and would definitely come back, for dessert, to buy chocolates, or have a nice sit-down conversation with a cup of hot cocoa. Makes me want to open my own in LA ...
I have to disagree entirely. They have outrageous prices, and my experience is that there is absolutely nothing special. The European Hot Chocolate I received was "good", at best... but that should be put in context. For five bucks they need to do more than use real milk. It was nothing like hot chocolate I've recieved in Europe, which is thick and made with real chocolate. This was powder and milk... for nearly 5 dollars. I had an espresso there once which was very bad. To top it off the service I've recieved was very bad. Both times I got a "can't you see I'm trying not to work" sort of attitude." I'm not even sure if they make any of the truffles they sell, which would be a shame considering the fact that they demand about $3 a piece. I really wanted to like this place, because I think something like that could be incredible, but as it is I think it is an image based boutique with little substance.
Edit: I just reread the original post, and I notice that they said some of the truffles were from dallas. Do you know who made them? Also, the truffle make is different than the one making the actual chocolate. Your fondue was probably a standard Callebeut or valrhona (or similar brand) couverture brand, which of course there's nothing wrong with. There's no reason to put some Cluziel chocolate in something like that, but it also doesn't require a great deal of skill. With regards to the Cluziel truffles... Yes, those should cost a great deal, because I'm sure they pay dearly for them too, but based on my tasting of cluziel chocolate I can't imagine that they are anything revelatory at that price. Granted, I have not had any of their truffles, just bars.
in LA I have ordered quite a lot of 'hot chocolate' for $5 which was in fact- just water, topped with whipped cream! Even at places who MAKE chocolates (like Chuao, Jin patisserie, etc). So IMO the hot chocolate at chocolate secrets was good! Angelina's in Paris if I recall. .. their hot chocolate was like 8 Euros
I don't know who makes the Dallas chocolates, but no, Chocolate Secrets don't make their own chocolates I don't think. I didn't buy the Dallas truffles so don't know how much those are, only 1 fauchon and 1 cluizel, which, yes, cost a great deal :( but I liked the cluizel one (never had their bars though, except for the 99% noir infini which has nothing to compare it to- only had 85% before that at most).
but you're right :) no reason to put cluizel into a chocolate fondue, that'd be a waste ..
When I was there though I had good service - the lady explained a great deal of their store and their selections. Well, except that she couldn't figure out how to use the credit card machine :P
OK I recently went back, and asked the price for their local chocolates. $3.25 each piece, for any one of them! It was more expensive than their imported chocolates. You're right, that is rather overpriced, even though they're good $3.25 for a piece of almond cluster is outrageous.
I'd take the fauchon or cluizel..
Last time that I was in Manhattan, I decided to do a chocolate tour on my own...There was not one place that I went to, and I went to 6 different places, that a piece of chocolate did not cost $3.50...Pretty much the going price for quality, especially made on the premises chocolates, and at Vosges, they were not even made there at the store....
Interesting. I have never eaten the truffles - I bought at box as a hostess gift at C.Secrets and stopped by Corner Market shortly after whereupon I saw them and they were clearly (as distinuished by the name of the flavors and the decoration on top, size, shape, etc.) the same ones. So I asked where they get their truffles, which is how I learned about the FW place. guess i will stick with society next door fr my sweet tooth!