Monday, March 2, 2009
Quest for the Best: Bespoke Chocolates Review
Location: 6 Extra Place, NY, NY
Website: Bespoke Chocolates
Price: Each chocolate piece is $2.25
Atmosphere: Chocolate speakeasy. The shop is located in a small, unmarked alley in the East Village, so make sure to look it up on a map before you set out to find it. Once you find the shop (and knock three times and say “Bob’s your uncle”), there’s just a small counter where the dozen different chocolates they offer are on display. The girl working the counter was very friendly and eager to help me pick out a good selection. The kitchen area is on display, so depending on when you arrive, you can watch the chocolates being made.
My Review: If you’re in the market for gourmet chocolate, this is the place to go. Each piece is hand-crafted daily in the shop by chocolatier Rachel Zoe Insler using only fresh ingredients, and the combination of quality ingredients and painstaking attention to detail makes all the difference. Being a lover of the combination of salt and sweet (you can’t trust me around chocolate-covered pretzels), I first gravitated to her signature piece, the pretzel-covered sea-salted caramel. It’s a gooey ball of caramel encased in a chocolate shell that’s rolled in crushed pretzels, so be sure to just pop the whole thing in your mouth or the caramel will just run all over you (luckily the girl in the shop warned me of this before I left). To compare the flavor to that of a chocolate-covered pretzel would be sort of insulting, but if you’re also a fan of the combo of salt and sweet, this is definitely a unique piece that you’ll love.
I also tried the chai spice piece, which was a tasty milk chocolate truffle with a spicy kick in the soft center (according to the website, it’s a blend of ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves). But my real favorite was the excessively named single-estate Colombian dark chocolate truffle. There are no secret ingredients here, just a soft ball of pure Colombian chocolate rolled in a dusting of cocoa powder. But the chocolate is so creamy and delicious, there’s absolutely no need to wish there were any other flavors at play. I had saved this piece for last, and once it was gone, I immediately wish I had bought a dozen more.
Bottom Line: Yes, the pieces are tiny and are definitely a splurge at $2.25 a pop, but if you’re in need of gourmet chocolates for a special occasion or just love quality chocolate enough to treat yourself once in awhile, Bespoke is definitely worth the occasional indulgence.