Saturday, February 14, 2009

Bespoke Chocolates

27. Bespoke Chocolates
6 Extra Place on 1st Street between Bowery and Second Ave

We had to circle the block for a bit before being able to find Bespoke, a small upscale chocolate store that, on the day we were there, was selling only five kinds of chocolates (see the picture below for more evidence as to how hidden this place is). Extra Place isn’t a road, but a sign-less alley that we couldn’t believe would have any commercial activity in it, let alone a chocolate shop. We walked in, ready to grab a couple samples of the pretzel-covered sea-salted caramels that are described by their website as, “a crisp chocolate shell encases silky, creamy, sea-salted caramel.” We approach the counter and order three of them. The customer in front of us was ordering somewhere around ten chocolates and as he was ordering them the chocolates were individually picked up and placed on a wooden board that looked like an artist palette. What kind of place is this? I guess when you’re charging $2.25 for a small piece of chocolate you have to look the part, and this store did just that. Pretentiousness aside, it was nice to see the open kitchen where Rachel Zoe, chocolatier and co-owner of Bespoke was preparing the small desserts, and just being in the store was worth the trip as the chocolate smell filled the room. I inhaled a few more times before leaving and tried the chocolate. I was expecting the caramel to be sticky but it was uncharacteristically smooth, as described, almost like one would expect from a chocolate-filled center. Salt and chocolate is a classic combination and the dessert delivered a very tasty two-bites. Though there’s no question that they are very good, I still have a problem paying $2.25 + tax for each of them. What might make it more successful, in my humble opinion, is if they were prepared for restaurants. If a restaurant was to offer 4 for $6.00-7.00 I would certainly order them. $2.25 each? I don’t think I’ll be running back.

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