Thursday, February 12, 2009

Chow Chocolat - Wow Chocolate!

Many, many years ago I worked for Barricini’s, a company out of New York City that specialized in making fine chocolates. A dream job to say the least. So it’s no stretch of the imagination to say I am a chocoholic.

To this day I am obsessed with searching for the finest chocolates available. I’ve mail ordered chocolates from every part of the US and Canada. While on vacation I scour that city’s telephone directory in my quest to discover a hidden treasure. When family and friends travel to other cities or countries I beg them to shop for the finest chocolates they can find. Often I’d research and plead with them to make a special visit to some out of the way chocolatier. It’s that important. More times than I care to remember I was very disappointed. But every so often - a revelation.

All that has changed. Family and friends no longer hesitate to inform me of their travel plans. Oh, I’m still a chocoholic. However, thanks to Chow Chocolat, I, as well as family and friends, have not been the same since.

Jaclyn and Scott Wisz are well known at several local Farmers Market for their delectable treats, confections, sweet breads, cookies and for their adorable Chow Chow, Puma. In April 2008, The Wisz’s opened a retail space in the Avalon Building (at 731 Main Street between Tupper and Goodell Streets) that has taken the neighborhood by storm.

The interior features high ceilings with exposed ductwork, exquisite crystal chandeliers and plush furniture giving this beautiful space a hint of elegance and romance.

Using recycled biodegradable cups, Chow Chocolat is a café and patisserie serving organic free trade coffee and espresso products, tea drinks, french lemonade, hot chocolate and an amazing sipping chocolate that is a must try. Pastries include plain or filled croissants, scones, artisan ganache brownies and heavenly parisian macaroons which are chocolate, coffee, almond, vanilla, pistachio or raspberry flavored.

Toward the back of the chocolatier is a wood and glass case that holds the real treasure - the chocolates. Jaclyn’s artistic flare was inspired by a chocolate course at New York’s French Culinary Institute. All of the chocolates are handmade, hand dipped and decorated, in small batches to ensure freshness, by Jaclyn and Scott.

Ganache, bon bon and truffle flavors evolve with the seasons. An example of some of the flavors you can expect to find are refreshing lemon, raspberry, key lime or passion fruit. Spicy habanero mango, coconut curry or the very spicy fire and air. Some of the classic flavors offered are cognac, hazelnut gianduja, grand marnier or espresso. And a few other impressive flavors include jasmine tea, peanut butter & jam, gourmet s’mores, luscious salted caramels and crisp cocoa dusted almonds.

In addition to being a premier patisserie and chocolatier Chow Chocolat displays artwork by local artists, hosts chocolate tastings, features comedy, music and poetry by local performers and offers free tango lessons.

Like the chocolates aren’t reason enough to dance!

Chow Chocolat
731 Main Street
Buffalo, New York 14203


Libby said...

Okay, I am SO going here the next time we visit the in-laws :) You're right, local chocolate can be hit or miss. Went to Gearhart's here in Cville, wasn't impressed. But the chocolate store in Pittsburgh, in the Strip District (forget the name) is out of this world...

LIVE TO EAT said...

I agree, Libby, the chocolates at the shop in Pittsburgh are good, but Chow Chocolat is very special. They are carefully made by hand and have a soft creamy texture.

Oh, and they're luscious.