Chocolate-covered strawberries are all well and good, but this Valentine’s Day, try jazzing things up a bit by discovering what else can be drizzled in chocolate.
Alongside excellent, traditional truffles and other chocolate-covered goodies, you’ll find bags of crave-worthy chocolate-covered Cheerios ($6 for a 4 ounce bag) at this lighthearted NYC institution. Indulge your sweet tooth without sacrificing taste or adding junk like preservatives, flavor extracts or extra oils.
The Plaza Food Hall by Todd English
Find everything from fresh sushi to peanut brittle at the elegant (sometimes manic) Food Hall in the concourse level of the Plaza Hotel. Sit where you like and order from any of a variety of gourmet food stations. When it’s time for dessert, chocolate-covered treats including curly cakes ($6 each) and sugar cookies ($2.95 each) do the trick.
It’s called “pig candy,” ($29 for 1/2 pound gift tin) and it’s manna from heaven. The adage that everything is better with bacon is writ large in this small confectionary located inside the quirky locavore-themed Essex Street Market. The bacon is baked crispy next door at Shopsin’s, then dipped in milk or dark chocolate. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it, then get ready to begin dreaming of your next visit.
Francois Payard Bakery NYC
Fans of Payard’s elegant chocolates mourned the closing of his Upper East Side shop in 2009, then cheered when two new locations, dubbed FPB, opened up. Here you’ll find expertly crafted truffles, pastries and birthday cakes to die for. New this month are chocolate-covered wafers made from “cigarette” cookie dough, sandwiched together with hazelnut chocolate paste at $23 per tin.
Reservations online only, walk-ins accepted
Skip the multi-hour wait and kiddie parties at Serendipity 3 and head instead to Union Square. While there is a carnival atmosphere, both food and dessert offerings are complex and grown-up. Seek the fantastic popsicle chocolate fondue for two, featuring vanilla ice cream bars, melted chocolate fondue and crunchy wafer balls to top things off. It’s the ice cream truck gone right at $14.25 for two.
Black Hound Bakery
When what you want is the best chocolate-covered strawberries, this East Village institution is where you head. Order in advance and pick them up early, because even during non-romantic months these beauties—made fresh daily and double-dipped in bittersweet and white chocolate—go quickly ($3 each). No matter, of course, for there are plenty of other chocolaty delectables to be found here. For classic Italian treats, Veniero’s Pasticceria is one block over on 1st Ave.
Robert Haynes-Peterson is an editor and freelance writer living in New York. He is certified by the American Sommelier Association through its 24-week Vinification and Viticulture program, and the government of Mexico through its Master Mezcalier program (continuing). His work can be found at Examiner.com.