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Sep 7, 2012 07:06 AM

today (Friday Sept. 7) Chocolee

does anyone know if I can get baked goods here today? Recorded message says she will be open this afternoon. FB says 11am -7. Are the bakery products only available on Sat/Sunday? thanks!

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  1. i believe she only does her beignets and croissants on wkends, tweets. that's what she told me when i was there in June. i will offer that she is wicked BAD about communication with her fans/on her website. she closed for all of July but , unless she acted on my comments, never put that info on her ph message! and i remember lots of CH posts about 'is she open'? , 'where is she?' a few yrs ago-- before i discovered her wonderful chocs.

    21 Replies
    1. re: opinionatedchef

      No human contact by phone and I wasn't going to drive in without confirmation. Does she only do croissants, beignets and eclairs? And what type of croissants? I'm an almond fiend!

      Thanks chef. Somehow I knew you would know............

      1. re: tweetie

        yes, i wrote her up on CH after i (VERRRRRY belatedly) discovered her a few months ago. I wish a trustworthy chocolates and pastry aficianado had written her up and i had seen that write up so i coud have enjoyed her work before now (like i reeeally needed those calories to fill out my emaciated frame) .

        Her almond croissants are quite impressive, t.>> large, crunchy on the outside and very packed with filling of the frangipane persuasion. i also am an alm croissant lover. in B i have had them at Flour, Japonaise, Canto; iirc none came close to matching Lee's. And if you are ever in Burlington VT. you MUST get a box from Mirabelle (best pastry shop I have experienced in New England). M also has the most perfect very almond pastey Almond Horns- enormous horseshoes, ends dipped in DARK caillebaut, $2 @. They freeze beautifully so I buy a few dozen every Oct when we go up there, to last me the year. (If you want me to bring you back some, just email me via my CH member pg address)

        t, i think lee may not answer her phone when she is helping customers (she works alone.I have had her return a phonecall but i'm not sure 'promptly' is in her vocabulary.)

        oh, your question-- i believe those are the only pastries but i was only there once and then she closed for july. i know she did plain and almond and i can't remember if she did other fillings,sorry.

        1. re: opinionatedchef

          once again, a font of information! The tip re: Mirabelle has me fighting the urge to get in the car now! I believe we're neighbors so I might take you up on the offer to carry the goods over the border. The almond horns at Farmland in Wakefield are decent and I do like their white and chocolate dipped almond biscotti.

          Yes, not so much chatter about her. Wonder why. We're taking a truffle making class soon so maybe I'll gain some insight.

          No answer today either, trying to confirm hours for today and tomorrow. It 's a challenge being a one woman show I imagine but I want an almond croisssant and anything gianduja and I want it now, Daddy!

          Veruca Salt

          PS.....come to think of it, it is a bit like trying to get into Willy Wonka's factory. Maybe today is the OOmpa loompa's day off.

          1. re: tweetie

            well, tweets, thank you for my giggle of the day.( i got the w wonka ref, but who is veruca salt? i even spelled it backwards but i didn't get anything so i figure it's a cultural reference for those in the know?)

            do leave her a ph message!

            wow, your tastes ARE awfully like mine (i love gianduja; she was sold out of those the one time i was there) If Formaggio (Cambr that is) gets around to restocking these, you might swoon over their imported Italian Venchi choc bars filled w/ gianduja and whole roasted hazelnuts ($10 ouch;approx. 8" x 2" rectangular box.) They come in both a dark and a less dark and darned if i can decide which i like better so i just keep taking one for the team and trying them again and again.....

            1. re: opinionatedchef

              p.s. for when you DO get to chocolee, very surprisingly to me,the DARK chocolate lover, my fav of her chocs that i tried- was her White Choc Pistachio filled variety; so silky and strongly pistachio flavored.Her flavors change wkly. I also really liked her 3 Citrus flavor.

              1. re: opinionatedchef

                Veruca Salt is one of the characters in Willy Wonka-- the very bratty girl.

                1. re: newhound

                  ding, ding, ding! Give newhound a golden ticket. Despite finding a golden ticket (actually Daddy's factory workers found it) Veruca was judged to be a bad egg and sent down the chute along with the other rejects.

                  Chef, I stock up on Novi giaduja when we are lucky enough to get to Italy. Love their prism shaped gold foil wrapped nuggetsof smooth, creamy hazelnut magic. Nothing like it here. Novi also makes outstanding chocolate hazelnut spread that makes Nutella seem like mud. Both available in supermarkets, particularly in the north of Italy and the price point is so low as to be ridiculous for such quality. Alas, I'm out of both.


                  1. re: tweetie

                    oooh, that link is wonderful. also now i know about her cookbook which i knew NOT about. so thks much. so I'll keep novi in my head, and you'll try Venchi, yes?

                    re nutella, since this thread seems to be between you and me and newhound (otherwise i would look like St. Sebastian, the arrow guy), i think i can safely say
                    that every time i read some rave about nutella from some poor sch...k, i have a major grimace on my grimace face.

                    justin's choc hazelnut spread(WF) is good but it's very diff from gianduja.

                    1. re: opinionatedchef

                      Called this morning and got the updated recording saying that she was open today 12-7. Grabbed another food loving friend and headed in. Got to Dartmouth St at about 12:45. Sign in the window says closed. What the heck?? We approached and tried the door anyhow and it opened from the inside. "Are you open?" we asked. "I suppose" came the reply. Gulp. Timidly we entered the tiny shop and within moments all trepidation washed away. Lee was charming, chatty and welcoming. Atop the chocolate cases were aforementioned pastries....croissants, chocolate, almond, plain and ham and cheese and eclair shells to be filled and chocolate dipped to order. Also nutella swirled pasties, chocolate cupcakes and dessert plate sized chocolate chip cookies. Chocolate chip, pear and cardamom tea loaf. She does full sized cakes, special order.

                      She's only open Friday Sat and Sunday at this location but is opening " Bread and Butter" in the North End in November, the former Cafe Graffiti space. Soups, salads, sandwiches and assorted baked goods. 7am to 9pm.

                      Her truffle classes are booking for November and 3 hr chocolate classes, February. She also teaches at Bunker Hill CC.

                      As for our purchases, ham and cheese croissant got a thumbs up from my friend. The chocolate chip cookie was a cc cookie. Decent but not mind blowing. We're both bakers and wondered why we indulged. ( Currently I have my own in the freezer, the thin, crispy variety as well as semi-soft and chewy along with homemade Snickers bars) Have not yet tried the almond or chocolate croisssants.

                      Sesame caramel.....fine. Salted caramel........definitely the most salty I've tasted and more memorable than the sesame. Peanut butter filled, average and just the slightest bit stale, coconut filled, fair and lastly the white chocolate pistachio probably the most enjoyable of all. All that said, I'd take my Snickers over all of them.

                      It was a fun food adventure. Will we go again? For chocolates, probably not but it was lovely to meet Lee, hear the back story and see someone following her passion and fulfilling her dreams. But you never know. I haven't yet tried the almonnd croissant...............


                      1. re: tweetie

                        I feel so stooopid that i didn't think of this til now, but have you tried TrJ Almond Croissants (frozen/you bake them)? I actually find them superb. Good moist strong almond paste filling. Dark Choc ones are also excellent.Whoever makes them is one talented baker/co. You mentioned pnut butter cups- TrJ has a surprisingly good dark choc. version, made w/ Caillebaut i think.

                        So sorry you were disapp'd in Lee's chocolates.You must mean your own home-made snickers, yes? I wonder if you would like EH chocolates from somerville.I tried a few at Formaggio and thought they were very good. And you can call her and order them and pick up from her . And what about Burdick's- do you like some of theirs? The only chocs i make are dark choc turtles w/ sea salt, with both plain and espresso flavored caramel, and some hard coffee cardamom nut toffees.

                        i hope you ended up liking Lee's croissants.

                        1. re: opinionatedchef

                          After trying Serendipity, Blue Tierra and now Chocolee, I must simply confess that I am not an artisanal chocolate kind of girl. Although a different animal, I don't care for Taza either. Turtle Alley's product line is my idea of perfection and the See's nut and chewy assortment has never disappointed.


                          I've picked up those TJ croissants, done a loop and returned them to the case at least 3 times. Now that you've endorsed them, they will make it to the checkout. Had the almond croissant this AM. Yummy and plentiful filling but the pastry was rather tough and toothsome with a fried rather than buttery flavor. Nothing left but crumbs however.

                          I make turtles too, along with caramel, English toffee, pb cups and a few others during the holiday season. The Snickers recipe took up residence in my head and I had to exorcise myself of the chocolate demon by making them this week. Didn't use Kraft caramel but made my own instead. So good.


                          1. re: tweetie

                            OMG...I just looked at the recipe. I know what I'm doing in the next day or so. What type of peanut butter do you like best and chunky or smooth? Thanks for posting the link!

                            1. re: catsmeow

                              I used smooth but for me with peanut butter, it's all good. I cut the recipe in half and used an 8 x 8 pan. Worked fine. PB is added to the chocolate so you would have a different texture on the top and bottom with chunky. Not bad, just different. The flavor is amazingly Snickery, but better. Much better.

                                1. re: catsmeow

                                  If I'm goin' down I'm taking someone with me! Enjoy.

                                  Yes, chef. I agree on the freshness factor but I was in grave danger of sugar coma and had to make a choice. Croissant was frozen, reheated and enjoyed but didn't hit eye rolling good which is my justification standard. A high bar admittedly, but it must be better than something I can make myself, worth the hit in calories and have that wow factor to make it onto my list of forbidden fruit.

                                  How could I forget since we are on the almond train? One of those items is the twice baked brioche from Flour. Now that's worth a 5 mile run the next morning and it freezes beautifully, maybe like those almond horns from the green mountain state.

                                  I've had the TJ's cups and agree they are good. Venchi comes next, maybe as dessert after the Saturday bbq! And yes, grit is the word for Taza. Not to my taste.

                                  1. re: tweetie

                                    hmmmm, twice baked brioche is-- coated w/ almonds? contains almond paste? are they crunchy? i'm not a flour fan but i must seek these out.

                                    1. re: opinionatedchef

                                      After trying most of the sweets at Flour, this is the only item I return to, thickly sliced brioche, spread with frangipane and sliced almonds. Crunchy on top, bready below. Got a slice at Petsie's a couple of weeks ago and it couldn't hold a candle to Joanne's.

                                      Curious that you and I are the only ones drawn to this thread. Are there no other CHs with thoughts on Chocolee? Maybe it's the subject line.

                                      1. re: tweetie

                                        Clear Flour Bread also has "twice baked brioche," which they call Bostock. Unfortunately, it's one of the items they offer on an irregular schedule, so you may or not find it on any given visit. But when they have it it's lovely.

                                        1. re: Allstonian

                                          Yes, lovely but I prefer Flour. Handier for me too. We call and order it because it also seems to be small batch and sells out. They have always been very accommodating about will call orders but you must give a credit card to guarantee the purchase.

                                        2. re: tweetie

                                          tweets, this is one of those places that i have found- are just not CH topics. Since Lee's shop seems to be successful, all i have figured in my head is that chocolee's customer base does not include many (posting) CHs. I have seen many examples of places that are successful and/or have a long track record of success, that receive very little CH discussion, that befuddles me; some are places we go, some are not:
                                          (i.e. east by northeast; rialto, upstairs on the square, la verdad's taqueria part, EVOO, When Pigs Fly, Aquitaine, and the areas of providence r.i., portsmouth n.h., and the ct. shore) And Chocolate does not seem to be a big Boston CH topic.

                              1. re: tweetie

                                you had Lee's alm croissant this morn? now tweets, don't forget-- it's not FAIR to criticize a croissant eaten after the day it is made. Maybe you'll just have to go back and eat a fresh one! are you a butterfingers fan? i have a Butterfingers Bars recipe i got from a bakery- that i've never seen elsewhere and it is terrif.

                                i agree w/ you on taza; i want them to succeed major, but i don't care for gritty in my choc.My fav chocs i've ever had are Recchiuti in san fran. but you wouldn't like them, prob. But don't forget- i DO think you'd like Formaggio's Venchi gianduja bar i mentioned.

                                also, do try TrJ pnut butter cups.