My children love chocolate. (Okay, so do I!) They really, really love chocolate.
So, naturally, when we left Stepping Stones the other day, my friends, kids and I headed to nearby Chocopologie, the chocolate-themed cafe of chocolatier Fritz Knipschildt. We just had to go there. Ever since I saw Fritz on Throwdown with Bobby Flay a few years back, I have been coveting his (rather pricey) chocolates. Shawn has been kind enough to buy me some for special occasions … and I can’t say that I have done much in the way of sharing them. They are simply too good for politeness. (I know, I am BAD!)
When we arrived, we were surprised to walk right into this tight space where a kid’s birthday party was going on . . . Oh my. When I say tight, I mean if it weren’t for my friends being there, I might have turned around and left. It was crowded with tables that left little room to scoot by. There was no clear place to go to get a table (like, maybe a desk? Or a clear stretch of counter?) and no straight path to the display where the chocolates were. Where was I supposed to go?
Now, perhaps it’s the exception to the rule for this dining area — I mean, there was a party going on. But my husband says that it’s always crowded with tables when he has stopped there.
Fortunately, a waitress spotted my deer in headlights look and pointed us to the bar area around the corner, which isn’t bar as in here’s the bartender, but bar as in what you might have in your kitchen (except longer and higher). I have to admit, carrying Paige and my purse, with Will walking in front of me, I feared that I might knock over the very full chocolate martini on one table we passed. (Mmm, ladies, next time!).
When we took our seats, we noticed a very cool thing: the huge picture window in front of us looked over where they actually make the chocolates. Oooooh, my. So we could see the employees working with chocolate, making goody bags for the party goers and more. So cool. The bad thing was that the entire area was super narrow. So my two friends took stools while I sat at a table across from them (read: about a foot and a half away) with Paige. Will claimed a stool between them, overlooking a giant vat of white chocolate — Will’s very favorite.
We were awed by the menu. Every chocolate-y thing sounded delish (and FYI – they have real food too and it sounds wonderful!). But we stuck to our guns and ordered desserts. For me, Chocolate Love — a sampler of several desserts like molten chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, a brittle with ganache and chocolate ice cream. Mmm. That molten chocolate cake was to die for.
For Will’s part, he was quite decisive. “I’d really like a glass of water.” And … white chocolate too. I was going to just get him a few pieces of white chocolate (perhaps the adorable white chocolate-covered quail eggs?) but the waitress was wonderful. She said perhaps she could score him a bowl of that warm, white chocolate . . . oh my. I couldn’t say yes fast enough! To prep Will for his extra-special dessert, I told him that he was lucky to be getting white chocolate soup … and when it came, he ate and ate and ate until he simply couldn’t eat (or spill) any more. And no, he didn’t finish it all. He literally stopped when he’d eaten enough. I scored a bite of it and it was amazing.
As for Paige, she ate off of my plate … my, can she eat when it comes to chocolate. She was in creamy chocolate heaven.
So, would I go there again? Yes. But I think I might call ahead next time and try to reserve a real table that might not be as cramped as the bar area. And as for the kids, I think that considering they are just little, little, they held up really well in the challenging space.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of several cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.