C, E at Spring St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Within these powder-blue walls, fine chocolate meets an Easter bunny-like flair for color. The signature chocolates are topped with quirky, colorful designs, like jade green swirls, blue-and-white Mondrianesque checks, and silhouetted figures against yellow or lavender backgrounds. But don't let the whimsy stop you from taking this chocolate seriously. The pieces have a good couverture-to-filling ratio, the thin coating snapping away to reveal intensely flavored doses of ganache. Some of the best are flavored with spices, like the cardamom and cinnamon chocolates; there are also several fruit-based choices like mango, coconut, and lemon. Head to the tea room in back—the Cacao Bar—and nab one of the gilded, cotillion-style chairs if you'd like to try the other specialty of the house: hot chocolate. You can order this in either the European (made with water) or American (with milk) variations. The spicy hot chocolate is spiked with cinnamon and chipotle chile—piquant, though not as fiery as Jacques Torres's "wicked" hot chocolate. Another standout is the Aztec dark hot chocolate, packing 72 percent pure Colombian cacao and thick enough to lick like sauce from your spoon.Extra
The chocolate bars wrapped with retro pinup-girl images make for good tongue-in-cheek gifts.