Chocolate, do it.
High in magnesium, flavonoids, antioxidants, it’s a great mood lifter. Since V day is a Friday you can reap the benefits all weekend. Did you say chocolate sales on Saturday??
Everything about this place is gorgeous. The decor, the confections, the clientele. A bit steep but unforgettable to the taste buds. The branding is girlie, girl decadence at its finest. She will think you know her, or just have great taste, either way it’s WIN.
Tip: Some of the counter help will slip you a free chocolate taste, you’re putty in their hands from there on.
Distillery: Soma (King & Spadina location too)
It’s an entire experience. They start right from the bean with focus on fair trade, and local. Experience a mouth-watering mini factory view (think I Love Lucy). Snag their calling card, an indulgent raspberry, praline Cosmic Heart or take someone special and indulge in the tasting menu together. Repeatedly voted Toronto’s best by many publications.
Belgian family owned. Pure, luscious, supreme, traditional craftsmanship. Delicate perfection found in a tiny, creamy white little ‘shoppe’. Everything is natural, no colourants or artificial flavours. The organic citrus made our hearts swoon. If you’re lucky the owner duo’s mom will be behind the counter, she’s a gem, and just as excited by the confections as you will be. Their caramel is heavenly, crave worthy at regular intervals.
Dundas (the town not street): Beanermunky
Standard favourites and unique flavours prettily crafted. I had a conversation with the owner, suggesting lavender. Turns out she was toying with the idea and grows it in her garden organically. She now sells it in bar form, if she would also put that in white chocolate with a touch of lemon. We’re fans of the handmade chocolates but the store carries candies, fudge, and cookies, so there really is something for every type of eater. Raspberry Merlot melts Wild & Game’s frozen heart, curry chocolate (seriously it works somehow), or chocolate covered bacon! say no more.
Calgary: Papa Chocolat
Bernard Callebaut can wax poetic all day about chocolate, and I was listening! His product is 100% natural goodness. I have an ongoing fantasy he bequeaths his legacy to me but alas the brand had issues, it got messy and someone else has the rights to his recipes. The Papa Chocolat brand is his new start, though a legend that needs no introduction. Any choice will woo you, for me, Pastis please, for the wee ones or young at heart, there’s an adorable, iPhone complete with colourful apps on a milk or dark chocolate home screen.
Tip: Get a block to take home. Homemade chocolate covered fruit for party of deux perhaps?
New York, Paris, Greece, Korea, Dubai etc: Debauve et Gallais
Speechless. Creme de la creme, full stop. Their facebook has thumbs up from ‘Sir’s, and ‘Lord’s. Sating royalty for a couple of centuries, including a bonbon created for Marie Antoinette, you may be blown away by the variety, caramely Champignons and chocolate grapefruit, are definites, I promise. My life changed for the better at their former Upper East Side location. They ship (my address is…). Massively expensive and worth every single penny, or, in Canada, nickel.
Vancouver: Thomas Haas
As tutelage of legendary chef Daniel Boulud, Haas is acing confection. Good enough for Boulud, great enough for us. The possibilities are eye popping, jaw dropping. He nails special occasions. A little goes a long way, and somehow the taste trumps the gorgeous presentation.
The sun is shining, this weekend is for eating. May your day be filled with love,