I love wandering around Union Square. Just a stone’s throw away from the craziness of Times Square, Union Square is the opposite. On one side the New York Public Library stands majestically and silently. On the other side is a beautiful green space with a large area of grass to set yourself down on, or many chairs around the site where you can set up and spend the day. There are ping pong tables, an outdoor library with books and newspapers you can read for free, concerts in the summer, stands to buy coffee. It is a little pocket of calm in the madness that is that area of Manhattan.
But skip the coffee stands and walk across the street to Keruther Handcrafted Chocolate. This chocolate shop is a part of Gabriel Kreuther Restaurant right next door and is run by its pastry chef, Marc Aumont and his talented team. You can watch the chocolatier creating the miniature works of art that are sold at the counter and if you wander up to the counter you are likely to be offered a free sample of one of their more unique flavours. Their chocolates are tiny but pack a punch with flavours such as dulce de coco and pineapple, pear balsamic marmalade and pain d’epices, and black sesame Trinitario. Above the chocolate room is an impressive piece of art; a series of 12 large mice sitting on a bench watching the world go by, the whole thing made out of chocolate.
They use Valrhona chocolate for thier hot chocolate, melted down in milk and served in a large clear mug. It is right on the point between sweet and bitter, very nice and balanced. The portion was very generous so a small was plenty enough.
Verdict: Union Square and Kreuther are a perfect pairing. When I visited it was 35 degrees Celsius outside but if I have the chance to go back in the winter, I’ll take my hot chocolate to go and sit in the park. Small hot chocolate USD$6. Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate, 43W 42nd St, New York, NY, USA