Li-Lac Chocolates

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Alright, alright…it’s Valentine’s Day. But, I know other people are really into it. Yesterday I posted an easy recipe for Red Velvet Cake Bon Bons. But, if cooking and baking isn’t your thing, what better way to say “I love you” than some chocolate? There isn’t one. Li-Lac Chocolates is Manhattan’s oldest chocolate house, since 1923. How did I not know this? Well, I didn’t, until I found them on my Grand Central Tour.

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Described as “stubbornly old fashioned”, this chocolate company has been making their chocolates the old school way, not changing or conforming to trendy, new comers along the way. They have a range of classic truffles, fudges and caramels, something for everyone.

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I tried a couple of their signature items. First, I had a Hazelnut Truffle Square. Holy mother of candy. This was incredible, maybe one of the best hazelnut candies I’ve had? Maybe? It’s decadent, rich, chocolaty, and an amazing nutty, hazelnut flavor. It’s pretty generous in size too, so, you basically get four pieces in one. 

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Then, I also got a Champagne Truffle. Another one that made me believe in Heaven. It’s silky, creamy, and melts in your mouth. You really get a nice champagne flavor as well, which, I mean, what goes better with chocolate than champagne?

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Champagne + Chocolate Truffle = Power Couple.

The Shorts:
Name: Li-Lac Chocolates
Location: Grand Central Market (43rd Street and Lexington Avenue), NYC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Uhhh…YEAH!!
Would I recommend it? Definitely, some of the best chocolates I’ve had in a while. 

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Saxon + Parole

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Even though this restaurant has been around for a few years, I only just made my first visit. It’s part of the wonder of living in a city where there are thousands of restaurants, with new ones popping up all the time, and taking years to finally visit one. And so, I finally made it to Saxon + Parole in the East Village. 

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Upon entering, you’re introduced to exquisite decor and design. From the bar, which is where I sat for cocktails and snacks, to the upstairs and downstairs rooms with dinning tables, everything is grand, warm, and impressive. Not to mention, there was some pretty good music playing, with a mix of some old 50’s/60’s tunes, Rockabilly, and current songs. 

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For my drink I ordered the Bowery Fix (Altos blanco, mezcal, yellow chartreuse, fresh bell pepper, chili oil). This drink was incredible. A slight hint of sweetness and lots of rich heat join forces for this beverage.

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And check out these little chili oil drops. 

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For food, we ordered a couple snacks, the first was their Crispy Brussels Sprouts with chili-caramel. The brussels were just amazing, crisp on the outside, tender inside, and a sweet and slightly spicy flavor that mixes so well with the brussels. 

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And then, we had the Truffled Portobello Mushroom Mousse with PAROLE Whiskey Jelly. This was unlike anything I’ve ever had, and was initially speechless after my first bite. In this little pot, you have this truffled portobello mouse, smooth, rich, creamy, with this slightly sweet flavor to the mushrooms. Then, theres a layer of this unique whiskey jelly, delicate yet rich in flavor, and together with the mouse create this wonderful spread, with a texture between butter and pate.

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On top, its confected with a few little white mushrooms. It was, just incredible. 

The Shorts:
Name: Saxon + Parole
Location: 316 Bowery, NYC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? In a second. I was super impressed with everything here.
Would I recommend it? Without a doubt. And, be sure to take a trip to the bathrooms, each room is about the size of some NYC apartment bedrooms.