Let's face it: Your girlfriend/boyfriend doesn't want a Hershey bar and Godiva is so passe. Besides, if blindfolded, you might not taste the difference. When buying expensive chocolates for yourself or as a gift, you ought to experience something totally different. From curry to wasabi, Vosges Haut-Chocolat offers unique flavors you won't find anywhere else.
Most chocolate shops are dark and old-fashioned, and while this might be reminiscent of their Belgian origins, it's not always the most welcoming environment. Upon entering Vosges' Lincoln Park location, you'll feel like you're in "a whole new world," as Jasmine would say, of chocolate shopping. Throwing chocolate browns by the wayside, the room is bright with whites and purples. And while it maintains that wintry feel of a lodge in the Alps, it's noticeably more inviting, striking that perfect balance of exuding both the modern and traditional.
The truffles come in a variety of flavors and packaging. Some highlights include Naga, which is a blend of sweet Indian curry, coconut and milk chocolate; Black Pearl, made of ginger, wasabi, sesame seeds and dark chocolate; Woolloomooloo, with Australian macadamia nuts, coconut, and milk chocolate; and Absinthe, containing Chinese star anise, fennel, Pastis and dark chocolate.
Several hot chocolate powders are available, a perfect accompaniment to a gift on a cold Valentine's Day. If you're giving a gift (or treating yourself) in the heat of summer, Vosges offers a number of ice cream flavors, sold by the pint. But greatness comes at a price: A two-piece Exotic collection box is $4.75, while the 32-piece set is $69. Also available are a variety of gift sets, including everyone's favorite: a heart-shaped box.
Centerstage Reviewer: Rob Kleckner