by Sarah Lagrotteria
It seems a bit obvious during February’s blitz of rosy blooms and lace-wrapped gifts, but the chocolates that the Babbo staff prefers are nothing if not original. Here are a few of our favorite pit stops for a moment of melt-in-your mouth indulgence.
48 Eighth Ave. (West Village)
A relatively new addition to the chocolate scene, Chocolate Bar offers a mix of chocolate cookie. We favor the “wicked hot” bon bons. Chocolate Bar’s take on traditional and new bonbon flavors, as well as a plethora of fudgy brownies and “The” Valentine’s Day? The Booty Bag- a gift bag comprised of a 12 piece “love box”of chocolates, 1 bittersweet bar and 1 soy chocolate latte candle tin.
484 Broome Street
Tel: (212) 925-6999
Famous for their hot chocolate, MarieBelle also specializes in beautiful silk-screened chocolates. Still, it is the molten chocolate drinks, made from 100% Belgian chocolate, as opposed to the more diluted cocoa powder that keep us coming back. MarieBelle also exhibits a yen for some spice- offering up Spicy Aztec Hot Chocolate that can be used to create her Spicy Hot Chocolate Nightcap Tequila. We also love the elegant blue and chocolate brown china hot chocolate cups.
Jacques Torres Chocolate
66 Water Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
A visit to Jacques Torres Brooklyn chocolate factory is like a candyland dream. Sip superb hot chocolate and sample pain au chocolat (one of Jacques personal favorites) at the café tables or, if you serendipitously arrive at production time, watch through the plate glass window as the chocolates are being made. Our favorites are the famous champagne truffles or chocolate-cloaked almonds.
120 Christopher Street
A longtime village standby, Li-Lac offers superb traditional chocolates. This shop isn’t about luxury and or modern presentation- this is the kind of chocolate you ate with your grandma. Favorites include homemade butter crunch, bark, turtles, and chocolate-covered orange and lemon peel- even better than you remember them.
Richart Design et Chocolat
7 East 55th Street
Richart chocolates come tucked like little gems in beautiful boxes. But unlike diamonds or emeralds, these gorgeously colored nuggets promise rich chocolate on the tongue and delicate exotic flavors like salted butter and Andalusian almonds. This is the real deal.