Though only in its second year, 50 restaurants, bakeries, and stores are participating in the 2013 incarnation of New York City’s Chocolate Week (Feb. 4 through Feb. 13). Cacao Noel, a French premium chocolate maker, is the official sponsor.
Participants are offering three different promotions: "Café Gourmand," "Tea Gourmand," and "Bubbly Gourmand." A cup of coffee or tea, or a glass of sparkling wine will be served with a chocolate inspired mignardises, the sweet tidbits traditionally served at the end of a meal. The coffee and tea options will be $10; the sparkling wine option will be $15.
A kick-off luncheon was held at Jeanne & Gaston, the highly touted new French restaurant from master chef Claude Godard (far left) on West 14th Street. Chef Godard served classics like French onion soup and escargot Bourguignonne along with more contemporary fare like Pike Quenelle Dumpling and a standout Jeanne & Gaston-style burger.
For dessert, chef Godard handed over the reigns to Master Chocolatier Eric Girerd (pictured, right). Chef Girerd is the man behind L'Atelier Du Chocolat, one of New York’s finest gourmet chocolate shops and a participant in this year’s Chocolate Week. In honor of Chocolate Week chef Girerd prepared an example of the "Bubbly Gourmand" promotion. The mignardises was a chocolate mousse Napoleon with spiced pear that was paired with a Cremant De Bourgogne Rose. Samples of chef Girerd’s gourmet chocolates, with flavors like Evasion (dark chocolate with ginger and strawberry) and Maya (with hazelnut and chipotle) were also served. It was the perfect end to a wonderful meal.
Any true romantic knows that Valentine’s Day is for amateurs. So while your co-workers are ordering teddy bears and hitting Duane Reade for a box of chocolates, beat them to the punch by taking that special someone out for a glass of bubbly and some chocolate. Who needs to wait for Valentine’s Day to do that?
For more information on this year’s Chocolate Week visit www.chocolateweeknyc.com.