Sunday, July 15, 2012

New York Chocolate Tour

Those of you who know me know that I have a bit of obsession with group deals such as Groupon, LivingSocial, Google Offers and the like.  Every morning I wake up to at a minimum six new emails with new daily offers from each of these companies.  Most recently, I took advantage of a deal for discounted tickets for me and three friends to take the New York Chocolate Tour by Celebrity Planet.

While it was upwards of 90 degrees out, this two-hour walking tour with chocolate samples at each stop was well worth the trip.  Here are some of the highlights of the tour:

First stop: Jacques' Hot Chocolate Bar in Chelsea Market

While I had my doubts about sampling hot chocolate in 90 degree weather, the hot chocolate I sampled was rich, creamy, sweet and spicy.

Li-lac Chocolates

I don't remember what I sampled here, I think it was some sort of dark chocolate.  But they had this adorable chocolate shoe in their display. 

I remember I sampled a dark chocolate with gray sea salt here.  But I bought an iced mint tea that was deliciously refreshing on a walking tour.  This place has a nice, relaxed coffee shop feel to it, that I wouldn't mind coming back to.

The famous Magnolia Bakery where we had this double chocolate cupcake:


Now this store was cool! The store is very small (as many are in Manhattan), only about 6 people could stand inside at one time.  So to efficiently make use of the space, it was designed in such a way, as you can see here, so that the walls are filled with chocolate boxes.  The owner is a 24-year old immigrant from India, so the chocolates are exotic concoctions, such as the mango paprika white chocolate slate that we sampled.

Pasticceria Bruno

This place's claim to fame is that they beat Bobby Flay in the Throwdown for best cannolis, which we sampled.  The cannolis were good.  But I had to take a picture of this chocolate shoe display, which seems to be a recurring theme in the chocolate scene in New York.

The last stop was Vosges Chocolate.   I didn't take a picture of it, but it was a neat store that sells all manner of unique chocolates, most notably bacon + chocolate.  We sampled the Barcelona Bar, though having been to Barcelona, I am not sure what it had to do with Barcelona. I also tried some of their red-fire tortilla chips.

Finally, one stop we did not go to that is normally on the tour, was Milk & Cookies, where we would have gotten to try a chocolate chip cookie.  Unfortunately, the store was closed on the day I was on the tour, so I was a bit disappointed.  But I definitely want to check it out some time soon, as well as come back to any of these stores to buy chocolate gifts for friends, or when I am just hankering for some chocolate for myself!

Note:  I was not compensated by Celebrity Planet or any of the above businesses to give this review.

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