City Pulse

By Charu Suri

When it’s 15 degrees outside, and you can’t wear your Purdy Girl spring dress, and work has taken all the pizzazz out of life (sound familiar?), then treat yourself to a cup of smokin’-hot hot chocolate at one of these cozy retreats. New York, my friends, is where you can get the most cocoa for your cup.

Here are our favorite spots, by far, where you can pick up the most cultured cup of cocoa and thank the stars that you still live in the city they named twice:

mariebelleaztec.jpg

Mariebelle has the best dark chocolate concoction that we’ve tasted. Rich and perfectly proportioned, the five different hot chocolate blends (Aztec, Spicy, Dark, Mocha & Mayan) have 63-72% cacao content–none of that powdery stuff that can only be associated with poorer quality cocoa. The Aztec is the classic hot chocolate that made Mariebelle famous, but several people mistake it for the Spicy version (made with cinnamon, nutmeg and chipotle). The Classic Dark is excellent and the Mocha is my personal favorite – bitter with a hint of sweetness, with a coffee flavor. The Mayan blend just hit the stores yesterday and is their version of unsweetened dark hot chocolate.

Mariebelle
484 Broome Street
NY, NY 10013
Tel: 212 925 6999

vosges.jpg

The most exotic hot chocolate, bar none, can be found at Vosges Haut Chocolat. Treat yourself to a stunning cup of white hot chocolate called Bianca, flavored with Australian lemon myrtle and lavender flowers. While the Bianca was initially not my first choice when I stepped into the chandelier-lit boutique, I was stunned to discover how palatable and refreshing the combination was. It can taste quite delicious both hot and cold. The other hot chocolate varieties at Vosges are the Parisienne blend (vanilla bean flavored) and Aztec (with ancho and chipotle chilies, cinnamon, Mexican vanilla bean and cornmeal).

Vosges Haut Chocolat
132 Spring Street
New York, NY 10012
Ph: 212.625.2929

serendipity.jpg

Your skin is in for a treat at Serendipity when you get a load of their famous Frrrozen Hot Chocolate. Yes, both frozen and hot (a very interesting experience that my taste buds will never forget), the hot chocolate comes in a huge ice cream glass and is topped with whipped cream and sprinkles. You don’t know whether to sip, slurp, gulp or plunge head first into this decadent potion. Serendipity has also teamed up with Borba to offer the Borba Frrrozen Hot Chocolate made with Borba water. The result? Great skin while you splurge (ok, ok the concoction is not low-calorie, but who cares?)

Serendipity 3
225 East 60th Street
NY, NY 10022
Ph: 212 838 3531

Originally published March 2007
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