I made a list of hot chocolates to try in New York if I had time. I didn’t have time for many of them but we did manage to visit Dominique Ansel Bakery in Soho. This Bakery is tiny with very few places to sit. We grabbed the cute little bench outside and then went in to order our hot chocolates.

I was excited about this stop but it is often dangerous to go into something with high expectations. The display case was filled with beautiful looking pastries, expensive, but beautiful. There was a ‘chef’s’ hot chocolate on the menu and we ordered that. Dominique Ansel is a famous New York City pastry chef with an impressive resume and he makes the hot chocolate.

First thing I noticed is that the hot chocolate comes in a paper cup. Yes I know I have this thing about paper cups but I guess since this is such a small bakery with very limited seating they have chosen to give everything to go. Still, they have seats for 20 or so people so they could have a few mugs…I don’t like hot chocolates in paper cups. You lose the whole experience, you can’t smell it, you don’t see it. But since this is going to be a good hot chocolate I decided to look past the paper cup and we went back to our little bench outside and took my first sip.

There is nothing wrong with this hot chocolate but I didn’t really enjoy it. It has this really nice, rich consistency, almost like pudding, a beautiful colour. The smell (even combined with the smell of the paper cup) was very nice and inviting. But the drink itself didn’t really taste like anything. We kept trying to figure it out but sip after sip it just never clicked.  Is it even legal to say that I didn’t enjoy a hot chocolate made by a famous and very much loved New York City pastry chef? Will they let me back into the city next time I want to come visit?

The one thing I loved about this bakery though was our little bench. From here we had front row seats to the Soho show, all sorts of different kinds of people walking by, some with dogs, some with babies, an older man holding on to his 20 year old model girlfriend who wanted to buy cigarettes next door before going out to dinner, a young man singing a pop song at full volume as he walked by.

Verdict: I will be back here to try the desserts and homemade icecream which look like works of art and to sit on my bench again. I might give the hot chocolate another try…but probably not.  Dominique Ansel Bakery, 189 Spring street, New York, USA

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