As soon as I knew I was definitely vacationing in New York City this year, La Maison du Chocolat was at the top of the list of places to visit. It was a must see … a do not miss … a visit regardless of anything else (I have Fritos and Foie Gras to blame for introducing me to La Maison du Chocolat). My first day on my own in Manhattan, I visited their shop at Rockefeller Center. I purchased $40 of chocolate that I slowly enjoyed over the course of my week and a half in NYC. I brought some of purchase home, and enjoyed my NYC experience in my easy chair after my first day back to work. It was awesome.
One afternoon as I stumbled my tired, weary body down the uneven cobblestones of 5th Avenue, I received a phone call from The Feisty Foodie about meeting up for dinner at Cascabel Taqueria, a restaurant very near to where I was. I immediately agreed, ready for some nourishment and a chance to sit down for awhile. But I had an hour to waste before dinner time. What was I going to do with my tired self? Thank goodness, La Maison appeared to save me.
As I turned off of 5th Avenue and walked towards Madison, I decided to walk the avenue for sightseeing and window shopping. After a full day of museum walking and yarn store browsing, I was getting to just that side of overtired and cranky. Not an attitude I wanted to bring to dinner. Then, it was as though the heavens broke and Fate smiled down on me. I happened to look to my left and across the avenue saw the most beautiful four words atop a store: La Maison du Chocolat. If I wasn’t such a stoic, staid individual, I might have broke down in tears of happy relief.
At the risk of ruining my appetite for dinner, I decided to have dessert first. All the walking and tiredness had me feeling super ravenous. I walked into the shop thinking a wee bit of chocolate would lift my spirits (read that as my feet) and smooth out my mood. I silently gasped with joy when I noticed the shop had a wee cafe in the back. Nothing could be more what I needed at that exact moment. I sat down to look at the menu, thinking a bit of chocolate and coffee would produce enough caffeine to revive and pep me up. I’ve since decided this must be how 90% of New Yorkers survive the city: copious amounts of caffeine and chocolate. (I kid! Sort of.)
I decided to try the things that I knew I wouldn’t be able to readily get again: some deep rich coffee which came with that delicious ganache, a chocolate eclair, and pistachio ice cream. Was it alot to have 45 minutes before dinner? Yes. Did I regret it? Not. One. Bit.
It was quiet. I was the only one in the cafe area. The waitress was beyond nice and accommodating, moving me to a table near an outlet when she noticed I was worrying that my phone was nearly out of charge. She was attentive but never intrusive. And I left a huge tip of thanks for her quiet demeanor and the relaxed atmosphere.
I sat there reading my book, looking forward to dinner, and just generally beyond happy with my whole New York City experience.
I want to go back, my friends. I definitely want to go back.
P.S. Happy Friday, everyone! Don’t forget to be the bento! And have a great weekend.