Peace- in Midtown East

by professorchocolate on May.20, 2011, under Recent Tours

As the frenzied weeks leading up to Christmas came and passed, we were looking forward to a week of writing and researching on our favorite subject,  quiet week mind you. Nothing of the sort happened. A day after the blizzard blanketed the New York region, we were slugging through the tourist-laden area of Rockefeller Center. Much to our surprise, the streets and sidewalks were cleared of snow, but shoulder-shoulder with folks from the world over.

from the Professor's archiveThe professors were undeterred, for we had chocolate to find, and of course consume. We were certainly expecting to visit the usual suspects: La Maison, Lindt, and Michel Cluizel in the thick of things on Broadway. Though these places are tried and true and popular with tourists and natives alike, we found three very unsuspecting chocolate havens in two unsuspecting places. Any kind of haven in this area of town is a welcomed respite!

First on our list was the 8th floor of one of the most revered department stores-  Saks! (611 5th Avenue) Sitting in the corner of the 8th floor is the venerable Charbonnel Et Walker, a British chocolate company who have been around for years. Much to our delight, the brightly lit boutique was filled with chocolate-loving families, enjoying all kinds of chocolate treats off of a mini-conveyor belt- we stood there watching in awe for what felt like 10 minutes. Many a French and American chocolatiers loathe British chocolates with their emphasis on tea and rose-filled ganaches. Fear not, the Rose flavored ganache is something entirely different from most of the NYC-based chocolatiers that we cover, but also quite scrumptious. The many seats and small café-like menu makes this stop all the more inviting.  We also spied some boxes of chocolate labelled under the Saks brand.  We discovered that the chocolates were in fact created exclusively for the department store by none other than Fritz Knipschildt!

Second on our list lands itself only a few blocks from the throngs. Oriol Balaguer at Borne Confections (485 Park Avenue), located on what seems like a quiet corner of East Midtown, has chocolates from the uber-talented Spanish chocolatier, Oriol Balaguer. Accompanying the 20 or so oblong chocolate bon bons is a helpful staff and a wicked hot chocolate that makes this boutique well worth a visit any time of year.  We will save the story about discovering the super-secret chocolate vault of Balaguer in Barcelona for another time…

Professor Archive Video: 0037

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