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NYC (BROOKLYN): THE BEST CHOCOLATE EVERYTHING

By Nora Zelevansky / July 2nd, 2010

 

CHOCOLATE

When S. & I were in middle school, we used to take excursions–especially during summer–to Bloomingdale's to shop for who knows what: Back-to-school clothing?  Converse high-tops in crazy patterns?  Calyx perfume?

Mostly, I think, our shopping trips revolved around our deep love of Serendipity's Potato Skins and Frozen Hot Chocolate.  We'd always go there after the department store.  Like visiting the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, this restaurant is both a tourist trap and a beloved local staple, at once an authentic NYC experience and a cheesy location.

Well, it's been a while since S. & I made it there.  She's preggers now and I'm a lactard, so we probably wouldn't have quite the same quality of experience.  Plus, though the Frozen Hot Chocolate is big, we've grown.  It would no longer appear quite as huge by comparison to our small frames.

We may not have known it, but we really needed a new Frozen Hot Chocolate destination, so to speak.  And though I first visited Park Slope's The Chocolate Room for chili-infused chocolates and the best chocolate sorbet of my life years ago, it wasn't until S., Z. & I hit the newer Cobble Hill location that I realized we'd found our new chocolate home.

S. & Z. ordered the above frozen hot chocolate equivalent with whipped cream, the Not Hot, and sucked that thing down right quick.  Now, The Chocolate Room just has to start selling potato skins.  This is 2010 in organic, sustainable and artisan-obsessed Brooklyn.  Maybe they can even make them with goat milk cheese and maple syrup soaked bacon.

Dare to dream.

Actually, in this bacon dessert-obsessed world, I guess S. & I were just ahead of our time.

Happy July 4th!

xo – N.

NYC (NOLITA): THE BEST PASSION FRUIT CANDY

By Nora Zelevansky / November 3rd, 2009

POPABUBBLE

I am so damn behind on blogging that, not only am I writing about experiences from two trips ago, but you guys probably gave up on me two trips ago.  But, here I am again, for reals this time.  Not another trips for weeks.  Unless you count my trip to your mama's house.  Yeah.  I said it.

Who even knows what I'm talking about?  I am one Cherry Coke Zero away from losing my mind.

Anyway, I never covered my NYC journey really, so this week is all about the Big Apple.  Or, as I like to call it, um . . . New York?  Home?  I dunno.  Apparently I have nothing funny left in the arsenal.  So be it.

So, is it just me or every time I go home for a visit, is there some new weird dessert trend that's emerged specifically in a storefront on Broom?  Rice pudding, rock candy, frozen custard–whatever.  So, when I wandered with my fam (we were all in the old homestead at once) past Papabubble, I sort of scoffed at first.  But then my father, who is not much into passing up weird enticing food spots, urged us inside.

Basically, the company creates the most beautiful artisan hard candy that is literally cooked and chopped like so many vegetables right before your eyes.  The colors rarely seem to match the flavors, as Passion Fruit (a candy chef's suggestion and my personal favorite) is blue (see above), for instance, so cherry might easily be purple or green.  You get the picture.

Some of the more unusual flavors are, of course, the most interesting to me: some come with chili on top (and I LOVE a spicy candy sitch like The Chocolate Room's Red Chili chocolates in Brooklyn) and the soda flavors are filled with a sort of fizzy experience.  All and all, even if the candy didn't taste good, it looks absolutely gorgeous.

Plus, the website itself is just worth a sort of trippy minute and the store looks like a Willy Wonka apothecary.

Holiday gifts anyone?  Yeah.  I said it.

xo – N.