Sunday, November 18, 2012

Weekend Cooking- An NYC Chocolate Tour

This post is part of Beth Fish Reads' Weekend Cooking.  If you have anything related to food, cookbook reviews, novel or non-fiction book reviews, recipes, movie reviews, etc., head over to Beth Fish Reads and add your post. Or, if you want to read food related posts, head over to read what some interesting people have to say about food.

My sister-in-law Brigette is a big chocoholic and invited me to go on a Chocolate Tour in NYC; who in their right mind would say no?

We started the day with lunch at Todd English's Food Hall in the Plaza Hotel. We shared a light lunch of risotto tater tots with white truffle aioli and a fig, prosciutto and blue cheese pizza. Both were delicious.

They've added onto the Food Hall since I was there last, and now on the other side are some new places: Luke's Lobster, (which makes the best lobster roll) William Greenberg Desserts (the best black and white cookies), Billy's Cupcakes (Brigette loves them) and Lady M.'s (Brigette brought home a mille crepe cake), along with many others. If you visit NYC, plan on a stop here, and make sure you have an empty stomach.

Prosciutto & Fig Pizza

Risotto Tater Tots- love the serving basket

Our chocolate tour started at Marie Belle. The owner of the store, Maribel Leiberman, is Honduran. She was in the fashion business, but wanted something more. Her shop is decorated in the Belle Epoch fashion, so very French and beautiful. She is well known for her famous hot chocolate, and we tasted that as well as a passionfruit ganache. Her chocolates have lovely decorations on them, and I saw something that caught my eye- Pinup Chocolate Bars. They would be very cute for your guy's Christmas stocking!
The wall decor of the store is lovely
The cafe reminds me of a French cafe

The Pin-up Chocolate Bars- ooh lala!
Our next stop was Vosages, founded by Katrina Markoff, a young Eastern European woman, trained at the Cordon Bleu and based in Chicago. The shop was small and very purple. Her specialty is using herbs and spices in her chocolates, the most popular being the bacon chocolate bar. We tasted a Nougatruffle with curry powder on top. I'm not a curry fan, but it was an intriguing taste.
The back wall of Vosages
The third stop was Kee's Chocolates. Not as well known, Kee Ling Tong is Malaysian, and she insists upon being in the factory when each batch of chocolate is made. The store is very unassuming, no decoration, but the chocolate is fantastic. Brigette said this was by far the best chocolate she has ever had. I tasted a Creme Brulee ganache and a white chocolate pistachio and both were amazing. They have a Zagat rating of 29 (30 is perfect) and they earned it.
This is the extent of decor in Kee's
Our last stop was Jacques Torres. He is a very famous French chocolatier, and we were lucky enough to find him in the shop. Brigette got to tell him that she makes his chocolate chip cookie recipe and his chocolate souffle recipe and he said "Thank you, Madame". It made her day! We tasted his famous hot chocolate, a piece of chocolate chip cookie (which is very, very good) and then they gave us two pieces of chocolate to take with us.

His shop was covered with his famous Thanksgiving turkeys, and below is a photo of the big one.
Jacque Torres' turkey
We ate so much chocolate yesterday, I'm not sure I'll be able to eat on Thanksgiving. I hope you all have a great turkey day and that you get to spend it with people you love.


  1. A chocolate tour, how fun! I want to taste that chocolate bacon thingy, though I'd be a bit nervous too, lol.

    1. The chocolate bacon was very good; they hand out samples in the store.

  2. What a fun tour! I wouldn't turn that down. I love the big chocolate turkey.

    I fell in love with Vosges on my last Chicago trip and now I get truffles mail-order for special occasions. Which reminds me, I need to place an order soon for our anniversary. Our favorite is the dark chocolate exotic truffle collection but we sometimes get their seasonal flavors instead.

    1. I can't believe that I haven't had Vosages until the tour; the chocolate bacon was really good.

  3. Oh wow!!! What a great day. I'm bookmarking this for my next trip to the city.

  4. Now THAT is my kind of tour! Sounds like so much fun! My mom lives in nearby CT and frequently visits NYC - I am going to give her your blog link, so she can read it, too!

    If you get too sick of all that chocolate, you can send some over here...


    Book By Book

  5. I hope my daughter does move away from NYC before I have a chance to go on this tour!

  6. I just walked by the Plaza last week and saw Todd's Food Hall - I hadn't even realized it was there. Glad to see it here in your review - now I know I must visit!

  7. This sounds likes such a fantastic tour! I'm bookmarking this for the next time I have relatives in town - I'll definitely by doing this.