Monday, July 24, 2006

Chocolate: Cocoa in Larchmont and Beyond

Unfortunately for The WesFoodie’s aging waistline, chocolate is the axis around which most of my weeknights turn. The devil that lurked in Aztec stone pots and cacao urns calling the People of the Sun to feast on the elixir of roasted beans knew well then how to seduce the tongue and lay waste to restraint. He is one to be reckoned with still. And what fun it is to tango with the dark and delightful demon. But he does leave his mark on the belly of those who dare to dance; a mark which is not easily removed – but that’s what running twenty miles a week is for, to outpace this beast.

If you have felt a certain uneasiness, an unaccounted for twitching of your chocolate nub, a pervasive sense of something happening to which you must be a part but has yet to be revealed, you have no doubt sensed but not fulfilled an inner longing to try the chocolate at Cocoa in Larchmont. Cocoa makes the molten, deep and most mesmerizingly indulgent hot chocolate in Westchester – and it rivals any hot chocolate I’ve had anywhere. It is to chocolate what great tequila is to mescal, true to its source but schooled in the arts of pleasure. For summer they have chilled it out and now offer a cold cup as well. To the Aztec’s Cocoa offers their “dennis bark,” Belgian milk chocolate with chipotle and roasted almonds.

For those looking for a day trip down to the City and a new source for chocolate pleasures here’s a good trifecta of titillation:

One, head down Jacque Torres’ squeaky clean fabulous factory of confections in lower Manhattan. There you will find his “Wicked Hot Chocolate,” a spicy rich concoction that combines chili peppers and cacao. To my taste, the chilis tease more than arouse the buds. But its fun no matter how many heat Units on the Scoville scale you favor. And the chocolate covered marshmallows are great – pillows of sugar entombed in heavy coats of dark chocolate.

From there head down Spring Street into the heart of Soho to the very fashionable Vorges Haute Chocolate of Chicago. They make Red Fire, a very spicy chocolate that hits considerably higher than Monsieur Torres’s cup on the Scoville scale. It kicks with heat and deep tones of cacao and cinnamon.

When you head back home, stop at Li-Lac Chocolates in the Grand Central Terminal Market. Lilac makes a delicate milk chocolate and if you take a bag of bite size drops with you on the Metro North back to Westchester, you will melt your way in a sweet chocolate haze over the Harlem River tressel, through the Bronx and back home again.

Cocoa: 2107A Boston Post Road, Larchmont – 914-834-6464

Jacques Torres Haven: 350 Hudson Street, New York – 212-414-2462

Vosges Haute Chocolate: 132 Spring Street, New York – 212-625-2929

Li-Lac: Grand Central Terminal Market, New York – 212-273-7374


Anonymous said...

Are you anxious for Max Brenner's new spot in union square? It looks lovely.

WesFoodie said...

Can't wait to try it. There's a post about it at the Salli Vate's NY Food blog:

WesFoodie said...

Tried it. Disappointing folks. The spicy hot chocolate was neither spicy nor hot. Actually, not that chocolatey either. Well, they may just need some more time to work the kinks out. It happens.