Upon the good word of MUG, I made my way to L’atelier du chocolat, a miniscule chocolate shop in Chelsea.
The charming little bonbons in flavors like saffron, tiramisu and yuza come from the hands of chocolatier Eric Girerd, who's based in Jersey (though he's French, had stints in Korea and Japan, and was in Brooklyn until last year).
There are enough camps of flavor to satisfy chocophiles of many stripes: spicy (thyme, basil), floral (jasmine) and fruity (orange, raspberry). And then there are the traditional favorites like caramel, fleur de sel and coffee.
I sampled a range.
The orange bonbon was the weak link. The flavor was so subtle it was nearly invisible and the chocolate, a little crumbly.
The potent vanilla orchid more than made up for it. Wildly fragrant, the sweet notes oozed from the creamy ganache.
The cinnamon bonbon was also super rich and flavorful, reminding me of being in a good baker's kitchen.
And the praline, always a favorite, didn’t disappoint. Its firm texture and nutty, chocolaty flavor and cocoa-dusted almond on top would make the perfect after-dinner dessert.
You could say I was a fan.
59 West 22nd near Sixth