NY – Every time I think of the Lower East Side these days, I can’t help but to think of the semi-recent and catchy song by Santigold, L.E.S. Artistes. She opines that NYC hipsters are just pretending to be artists who desire nothing more than a penchant to be seen. Ouch! Hopefully she doesn’t imply the Professors!
Us professors are in no place to comment on the NYC social scene, nor Santigold’s lyrics, but we do like to think of ourselves as chocolate bar, bon bon, truffle-raiding consumers. (Take our word for it when we tell you that we’ve had our fair share of bon bon and truffle dinners). In our recent travels, we’ve easily identified two very authentic chocolatiers who happen to sell their precious goods on the LES.
1. Start our LES tour at the famed Essex Street Market. The Market is a gem in and of itself with butchers, fishmongers, a killer taco stand, Greek desserts, a tiny Italian shop, coffee, and Saxelby’s Cheese. Stay on task! Please.
Go straight to Roni-Sue Chocolate, owned and operated by Rhonda Kave. No one sentence can sum up Rhonda Kave, but we’ll try. She is graciously hospitable. Socially conscious. As well as a devilishly talented chocolatier. (That’s three). On most days, you can find her smiling while tempering her chocolate and greeting curious customers. In a switch from using mass-produced beans, Kave has teamed up with MOHO Chocolate Company, a company dedicated to creating superior chocolate using only fair-trade practices. Her connection and love for these delicious beans means that they are direct-trade and single origin, a bit of a rarity in the chocolate world. Authenticity at it’s most potent if you ask us.
Not sure what to eat? Do not leave without a bag of the Bacon Buttercrunch or Pig Candy, they make great movie-going snacks. If you like your boozy concoctions, try the Old Fashioned. It’s milk chocolate ganache, rye whiskey and bitters will leave you swooning. Valentine’s Day Chocolate you say? Easy. Inquire about the Aphrodisiac Collection.
A brisk 5 minute walk south of the Essex Street Market and you will find yourself on a tiny section of Broome Street. In just a few short years, this insular niche of Broome has notched two very creative and fun eateries.
2. Babycakes NYC is not to be missed for all of you vegan bakery lovers out there.
3. But if chocolate is what came for, search and find Tache Artisan Chocolate. Aditi Malhorta is the chocolate artist who owns and operates Tache, which means “smudge” in French. (Check out Aditi’s apron on any given day). She was formally trained in Switzerland, not to mention the winner of Zagat’s 30 Under 30 award.
The charming, french-style and brightly lit shop yearns for your attention. We love sampling the chocolate with a cup of coffee. Aditi has an exuberance and energy for life that is portrayed in her mouth-watering chocolates and pastries. If you just can’t get enough of it all, take a chocolate making class that’ll make you melt!