Hearts of Gold
No need to choose between two of most everyone’s favorite things, chocolate and gold. Your sweetheart will melt for the Donna, a smooth black currant-flavored ganache-filled dark chocolate shell brushed with edible gold dust. These elegant Knipschildt confections, handmade fresh every day, are available at Café Chocopologie in
Love and Chocolate
Which Area Chocolates Suit Your Valentine?
There’s something incredibly sexy about a big box of candy, beautifully wrapped and heavy with chocolate: it’s so extravagant, so impractical, so indulgent. This year, don’t buy Valentine’s Day chocolates made in an anonymous Pennsylvania plant (as Godiva chocolates now are). Why not make it a little more personal? We have great, independent chocolatiers right here at home, perfect for any valentine in your life. (And we made it real easy on you by suggesting which shop is best suited for what-type of valentine.) So drop into one of these pretty local shops and pick out a box—you can only pray (or hint) that your partner does the same.
For a Foodie
Anna Shea Chocolates
4 S Washington St, Tarrytown (888) 828-8528;
With handmade chocolates paired with unusual flavors—like port, sea salt, Earl Grey tea, white peaches (seasonal), and rosewater—Anna Shea is sure to tickle your favorite foodie’s palate. A 24-piece box of assorted chocolates costs $40, and can be picked up at Anna Shea’s jewel-box Tarrytown shop (also available online or by phone).
For a Classicist
12 S Main St, Norwalk, CT (203) 838-3131;
There’s nothing too avant-garde about Knipschildt’s chocolates; they’re just pure, smooth elegance all the way. Even the box—wrapped in gorgeous handmade paper—oozes class. A beautiful eight-ounce box of assorted chocolates costs $32 and can be picked up at Knipschildt’s Norwalk boutique, Café Chocopologie. (Knipschildt’s chocolates also are available at Whole Foods Market in White Plains.)
For a Snob
66 Water St, Brooklyn, NY (718) 875-9772 and 350 Hudson St, Manhattan
(212) 414-2462; www.mrchocolate.com
With a Le Cirque pedigree and international name recognition, a box from Jacques will surely fit the bill. New this year: a heart-shaped box filled with chocolate bonbons and a kissing-themed board game—remove a bonbon, and follow the directions ($42). Drop into either beautiful
For a Sexy Beast
Schakolad Chocolate Factory
50 Main St, White Plains (914) 948-2900; www.schakolad.com
Who says it’s wrong to play with your food? At Schakolad you can pick up Schako-paint or edible chocolate body paint. The paints come in white, milk, and dark chocolate and each jar comes with its own brush. One jar costs $11, exclusive of your cleaning bill.
For a Child at Heart
2107A Boston Post Rd, Larchmont
Angela Ingrao’s evocative Belgian chocolate barks ($26/lb) bring back memories of childhood summers. Take her s’mores bark (Belgian milk chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers) or her Betsy’s Bark (Belgian white chocolate with old fashioned hard candy, including cinnamon, cloves, cherry, and blue raspberry flavors).
For an Aesthete
Christopher Norman Chocolates
Whole Foods Market, 110 Bloomingdale Rd, White Plains (914) 288-1300
Christopher Norman’s financial-district studio crafts some of the most precious, beautiful chocolates around. Expect miniature hand-painted squares, modernist stenciled pyramids, bold chocolate/caramel dominoes, curvaceous chocolate pears, and tiny, truffle-filled chocolate cappuccino cups and saucers. Sold by the piece, $3.50 each, at Whole Foods Market.
For a World Traveler
255 N Bedford Rd, Mount Kisco
This Belgian chocolatier makes armchair travel easy with her globally inspired treats. Expect Indian curry truffles ($36/lb), imported Australian dried citrus dipped in chocolate ($22/lb), Japanese wasabi-tinged truffles ($36/lb) and chocolate-filled, imported Belgian “Handjes”—traditional praying hand-shaped chocolates from Antwerp ($36/lb).
5 Delicious Starts to a Lazy Sunday
Perhaps the loveliest spot for a winter brunch is Purdys Homestead (100 Titicus Rd, North Salem 914-277-
2301; www.purdyshomestead.4t.com). Selections include oysters, wild-mushroom ravioli, fruit-filled crêpes, crispy duck, shirred eggs over biscuits, not to mention Grand Marnier French toast. All sweets are exceptional. (Brunch entrées: $7-$26)
Chiboust Bistro + Bakery (14 Main St, Tarrytown 914-703-6550; www.chiboust.com) is a Francophile’s dream; the simple but sleek décor is as tonic as a quick trip to Paris. Chiboust serves a classy brunch Saturday and Sunday. No matter what you eat there—truffled omelet with chèvre, gravlax on a croissant with crème fraîche or brioche French toast with applessave room for pastry. (Brunch entrées: $14)
Aberdeen (3 Barker Ave, White Plains 914-288-0188) is your best local bet for a traditional Chinese dim sum brunch. Choose what you like from the passing rolling carts and pay by the portion. ($2.95-$8.95 per item.)
Brunch is a terrific way to experience Blue Hill at Stone Barns (630 Bedford Rd, Pocantico Hills 914-366-9606;www.bluehillstonebarns.com) because you can also tour its Center for Agriculture while you’re there. See where your three-course meal was raised or grown. Choose local mushrooms topped with “this morning’s egg,” house-made charcuterie, meat loaf with carrots, skate wing with vegetable pistou, or house-made cavatelli. It’s a challenge to choose among apple cobbler, poached pear, or chocolate bread pudding for dessert. ($42 per person; menu changes weekly.)
A Sunday in the country favorite is the brunch buffet at Crabtree’s Kittle House Restaurant and Inn (11 Kittle Rd, Chappaqua, 914-666-8044; www.kittlehouse.com). What’s to eat? Smoked bacon and smoked trout; fresh artisanal breads and perfectly ripened cheeses; omelets; pasta and salads; and entrées such as roasted wild salmon or entrecôte. For sweet ending notes, pile cream on fresh berries or tuck into an over-the-top terrine of three chocolates. ($29.50 per person includes one drink, but not tax or tip.)
Food Find: Darjeeling Teatown Tea
Found at: Teatown Lake Reservation, 1600 Spring Valley Rd, Ossining (914) 762-2912; www.bestweb.net/~teatown
Best with: scone or muffin at breakfast; cookies or sandwiches at afternoon tea.
Cost: $8.95 (30 tea ball package)
What’s in it: blend of full-bodied black teas from India
Made by: G.H. Ford Tea Co. in Wappingers Falls, NY
Inspiration for: The area around the Reservation came to be known as “Teatown” in the late 1700s because of John Arthur, a tea merchant who lived there. The 834-acre nature preserve/education center, founded in 1963, began selling tea in 1998.
If you like, also try: mango tea, vanilla green tea, apple cinnamon, Earl Grey, English Breakfast, fruit ambrosia, decaf orange pekoe, orange spice.
New Dining in New Rochelle
If you’re a resident of the the Queen City on the Sound, your dining out options have just broadened. Bella Bella Italian Ristorante & Bar, Above (583 Main St, 914-813-2626), which opens sometime this month, is a traditional Italian restaurant serving homemade pastas. Dinner entrée prices average around $18. Down the street is Emporio Gelato and Coffee Bar (
There is, alas, just one “chick” behind Pastry Chicks, Above (19 Cedar St, Dobbs Ferry 914-231-5968; www.pastrychicks.com), a new bakery run by Yonkers resident Marie Evans, the former pastry chef at Trotters in White Plains. “Originally my sister and I opened the bakery,” Evans says. Scones are among the biggest sellers at Pastry Chicks, with white chocolate-raspberry a favorite. There’s also Key lime pie, flan, black-and-whites, and a vegan chocolate pudding made with soymilk. “Diners at Trotters were requesting my chocolate soufflé after I left,” Evans says. “It’s still on the Trotters dessert menu.”
The Hilton Rye Town’s new formal eatery, Med 15 35 Restaurant & Bar (699 Westchester Ave, Rye Brook 914-934-2550), serves dinner only (Tues to Sat) and features Mediterranean cuisine. Chef Dominick Mancino, who previously worked at New York’s St. Regis and Four Seasons hotels, heads the kitchen. Pastry chef Jill Csordas, formerly at Westchester Country Club in Harrison and Abigail Kirsch in Tarrytown, creates desserts such as date baklava and goat’s-milk cheesecake. Costs of entrées range from $24 to $38
…On Thursdays, Plates (121 Myrtle Blvd, Larchmont 914-834-1244; www.platesonthepark.com) offers any two-course meal (appetizer/entrée; entrée/dessert; appetizer dessert) from its prix-fixe menu for $30. It also offers a selection of wines at $30
…Celebrate the Chinese New Year—the Year of the Pig—at Hunan Village (1828 Central Ave, Yonkers 914-779-2272) with a 20-course banquet February 13 to 24. (Cost: $60 per-person.)
...Ginseng in Armonk has closed and in its place is the 86-seat pan-Asian eatery Made In Asia (454 Main St, Armonk 914-730-3663), which has an eight-seat sushi bar and three tatami rooms. Entrées, e.g., Malaysian red curry, Thai fried rice with shrimp, baby eggplant in garlic sauce, and crispy Grand Marnier prawns, range in price from $12 to $24. The restaurant is open every day for lunch and dinner
…You’ll not only find regional Italian items like tortellini soup, hot and cold antipasto, veal piccata, and spaghetti in red clam sauce at Sardegna Italian Restaurant (154 Larchmont Ave, Larchmont 914-833-3399), but also Sardinian dishes like shrimp in a garlic, white wine, and paprika sauce; Sardinian shell-shaped pasta with spicy sausage; and chicken with shiitake, portobello, and white mushrooms in a red-wine reduction. Owner Vittorio Scarpa, a native of the Mediterranean island, previously owned Luna Blue in Manhattan. Sardegna has moved into the space that once housed Pazzo. Dinner entrées range from $16 to $24.