You might have read my previous post about a disappointing experience eating at Kelley and Ping (an Asian grocery store and noodle shop). In case you were wondering, I could not and did not finish any of the items that I ordered.
So, here I was in SoHo and still hungry. I wonder if it happens with you, but this happens with me. When I am hungry and have not had a satisfying meal, I feel that I need to “feel good” with whatever I eat / drink next, and eat / drink I must. I remembered the chocolate boutique in Soho, Vosges Haut-Chocolat, that I visited last summer during my staycation. Am so glad that I remembered the name in time and it was just a few blocks away from where I was.
I love the look and feel of the boutique – with its purple walls and photos and displays of chocolate all over. It can seat 5 – 6 people at the bar right next to the door. It was a warm day in NYC (haven’t we been having a few of these lately?), and I wanted something cold. My choices were
- Aztec Elixir – dark chocolate with ancho and chipotle peppers, madagascar vanilla beans and ceylon cinnamon
- Parisienne – dark chocolate with madagascar vanilla bean pieces
- Bianca – white chocolate with lemon-myrtle, vanilla powder, lavender flowers
The lady at the counter suggested Bianca if I wanted a cold drink and I went for it.
It was well presented along with a dollop of cream on a spoon and a thin mint. The drink had a very refreshing taste – perfect for a warm summer day (and especially after a unsatisfying meal). The lemon-myrtle must have been the main reason for the freshness. The floral bouquet of lavender was nice and not overpowering. I did find the drink a bit too sweet for my liking, but did not regret getting it. The drink was like fragrant, sweet, cold milk – refreshing and satisfying never the less, but with no taste of chocolate (I know, I know, it is supposed to have white chocolate and not dark chocolate). The dollop of cream was not necessary for this drink, and may have been better paired with the Aztec Elixir. I won’t get the Bianca the next time I am in Vosges, but will definitely get one of their chocolate bars. If you are interested in the recipe for Bianca, check it out here. It says to use Vosges Bianca Breeze Couture Cocoa – available in their boutiques (only in the US at the moment) and in Whole Foods.
While I was waiting for my drink, there were pieces of the Bapchi’s Caramel Toffee bar as samples on the counter. I loved the buttery caramel, the crushed walnuts and pecans and the rich chocolate. The salted caramel ensured that the bar was not cloyingly sweet and at the same time it did not dominate the caramel or chocolate flavors. I had to get a bar for my Mom who was visiting. Needless to say, she loved it!!
While browsing the store, I also came across this book (see image below) and was instantly reminded of some of the crisp Fall days in Ann Arbor, Michigan when I stood in line to get a sandwich at Zingerman’s. I also made a mental note to get a copy of this book.
The boutique has Happy Hour between 4 and 5 PM (or was it 6 PM ?). May be because it was not Happy Hour yet, and I was the sole customer in the store, I got a card saying that I can enjoy a free Truffle of my choice when I visit Vosges in NYC next and there was no expiry date for the offer.
I left SoHo feeling satisfied after Bianca and crumbled Caramel Toffee, a chocolate bar for my Mom, a free Truffle on my next visit, and material for this blog post.
Vosges Haut-Chocolate Trivia
- It was started in Chicago by Kartina Markoff, who trained in Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, and worked with Ferran and Alberto Adria in the famous El Bulli, in Spain. I know that my Chicago friends will be happy to read this.
- Vosges has organic chocolates, vegan chocolates, sugar-free chocolates, gluten-free chocolates, chocolate with chillies, chocolate with flowers, chocolate with champagne, and chocolate with bacon (am yet to taste this one)