New York’s Upper West Side has a rich history of specialty Food stores. Zabar was featured on Sex & the City and ever since included in city tours along with Magnolia Bakery and Sushi Samba. In most recent years many restaurants opened, often escaping higher rent elsewhere in the city. This phenomenon has turned what was formerly identified as “strollertown” into “foodietown”. With lots of restaurants opening and plenty more scheduled, the Upper West Siders don’t have to move to find great food, but now it will be all the rest of the New York City residents who will want to visit, instead!
During the 2014 holidays a creative and delicious new concept stored opened: Voila’ Chocolat. Take all you know about chocolate stores (the display, the bon bons, the packaging and the occasional coffee machine and baked goods) and toss it aside because Voila’ Chocolat is an innovative way to experience chocolate. Usually you have to chose between a more or less limited assortment of flavor combinations, right? At Voila’ Chocolat there is a display where you can buy pre-made truffles but the real fun comes from the tailor made options. But the most entertaining part is that you can make your own chocolate treats!
The store is customized with special tables featuring a bowl where you can melt and temper chocolate for your treats. When you come in you can select the treats you’d like to make and receive a kit with all the ingredients you’ll need. A maitre chocolatier then shows you all the technique you need to make your treats and you can start making your own right then and there. From chocolate bars to truffles and lollipops, the sky is the limit. You’ll leave Voila’ Chocolat with a delightful box containing all your treats, and believe me if I tell you that you won’t want to share!
I first discovered Voila’ Chocolat at Taste of the Nation, an event where restaurants, caterers and other vendors serve food and beverages for charity. I had an absolute blast making my coconut lime truffle then and I was intrigued by the concept. The quality of the chocolate and other ingredients used for the bon bon was amazing it was one of the best offerings at the event. If the Pirate and I were ever going to exchange vows again I would want a chocolate making station by Voil’a Chocolat at the event. I told the Voila’ Chocolat team how much I enjoyed the truffles at the event and they offered to bring the party to our kitchen. We had an exclusive sneak peek of the chocolate treats that can be customized! All the family had a blast making chocolate bars, lollipops, truffles and more! Even the Pirate who, surprisingly enough, is not a big chocolate fan had fun making lollipops and he even ate them. As a person with food allergies he was initially afraid he would get a reaction, but he did not because the quality of the chocolate and the other ingredients is really the best you’ll find.
The idea of customizing your chocolate experience is brilliant. But you know what’s really cool? To have a place where you can make your own chocolate treats avoiding the part where you mess up your kitchen and waste expensive ingredients. Now, you can go to Voila’ Chocolat, learn, have a blast with friends and family (yes children can make their treats too!) and enjoy your treats.
It is not a case that this post appears so close to Valentine’s Day. This year don’t buy truffles, go make your own with your loved one at Voila’ Chocolat.