Hot Chocolate at MarieBelle, New York City, USA

IMG_8554Entering MarieBelle is like entering a decadent and over the top aristocratic French wonderland. And things get richer and more decadent the further you walk into the store. First you pass the ice-cream selection, perfect for today’s hot weather. Then you enter the heart of the store, a large room with towering ceilings painted blue with gold details everywhere, where there are beautifully decorated chocolates in every flavor combination imaginable sitting in elaborate display cases.

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But the soul of the space is further back, in a room perfectly named the Cocoa Bar. Here the atmosphere changes. The walls are dark chocolate brown and mostly covered with large gold framed mirrors giving the feeling of being in a room in the Palace of Versailles. A large crystal chandelier hangs right in the middle of the room filled with gold chairs and marble table tops. I felt like I’d stepped back in time, perhaps that I’d been invited by Marie Antoinette for a decadent treat, and that I should have been wearing something much more extravagant that jeans and ponytail. Classical music is playing from a stereo behind me but I imagine for a moment that it is instead a real grand piano, playing for us all, as we drink our hot chocolates.

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The menu has a whole page of hot chocolates to choose from. They have a selection of dark chocolates, between 65 and 75% cocoa liquor, some sweetened, some not at all, some with chilies or coffee added. If you are more of a milk chocolate type of person there are a range of options here with nutmeg, cinnamon, freshly ground hazelnuts and even natural banana pulp added. A final section features white hot chocolates with Tahitian vanilla and other natural flavors added. I choose the one they are most famous for, their Astec 65% made in the European style with water (although you can also get it made with milk, I strongly recommend the version made with water). I ordered a small which came in an espresso cup covered in delicate gold details. The cup was presented on a small gold platter accompanied by another larger cup filled with a dollop of freshly whipped cream which was lightly dusted with cocoa powder (an extra 45 cents but totally worth it). The hot chocolate was divine. It had a smooth and rich consistency and a beautifully rich dark chocolate taste. It was the perfect blend of sweetness, bitterness and was a consistency that was rich while still being very easy to sip. And I enjoyed every last drop of my small cup, anything more would have been too much of a good thing and anything less would have been a pity.

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On the wall as I left I noticed a large poster with a quote from the Marquise de Sevingny, “If you are not feeling well, if you have not slept. Chocolate will revive you. But you have no chocolate. I think of that again and again. My dear how will you ever manage?” How I will manage without MarieBelle’s hot chocolate….I am not sure.

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Verdict: A real decadent and extravagant treat, and at 5$ for a small hot chocolate and incredibly friendly staff I will be most definitely spoiling myself again as soon as I get back to NYC. MarieBelle, 484 Broome Street, New York, USA (and a second store in Kyoto).

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2017-01-04T22:41:19+00:00 November 17th, 2014|New York, New York City, NORTH AMERICA, USA|

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