I had the pleasure of participating in a hot chocolate crawl on Sunday with the most fun group of friends ever.
We started off at Jacques Torres, where I’ve been to previously and had enjoyed the frozen hot chocolate as well as the ice cream sandwiches. I had heard good things about the hot chocolate here so I was looking forward to sampling. My friend and I had wanted a peanut butter hot chocolate but they didn’t have that ready so we went for the caramel hot chocolate. I had high expectations and was unimpressed. The caramel taste wasn’t strong enough, the chocolate not chocolatey enough but at least we had gotten whipped cream, while other members of the group hadn’t. I then got to try the hot chocolate with orange which was much more satisfactory – delightful orange flavor and overall just a lovely mix of orange & chocolate.
The next stop was in the heart of Soho at Vosges, which was beautifully decorated with deep purple and white. I also liked the pretty Keats poem gorgeously written out on a huge board. Everything was so lovely, but also a little pretentious. But Bianca hot chocolate was amazing. It is is made of white chocolate, a hint of lavender and flavors reminiscent of lemongrass and kaffir. The taste was delicate, milky, luscious and unique. It was also not too sweet- just right. The finesse and beauty of this hot chocolate far surpassed that of Jacques Torres.
MarieBelle was our next spot and this place is a wonderland of exquisite designs and chocolates. We were greeted by a very lovely staffer and she let us know that their hot chocolates are made with water, not milk, in the tradition of European hot chocolate. We thought that the hot chocolate would not be as rich this way, but we were in for a surprise. We chose the Hazelnut hot chocolate and it was amazing- Pure chocolate taste, incredibly thick, rich, hot, and divine. It reminded of Nutella and pure delicious hot chocolate. This was the best place for a classic cup of hot chocolate, and it didn’t even need the marshmallows.
My friends went on to the heart of the West Village to visit Chocolate Bar and City Bakery, but I had other plans so sadly did not get to join them. I haven’t been to Chocolate Bar yet but have tried City Bakery and they are known for the delectable huge marshmallows- I would recommend. By the way, next month, City Bakery is having their 21st Annual Hot Chocolate Festival Calendar of Flavors! I, personally would go for Ginger, Love Potion, Ode to the Polar Bear… Care to join?