Yesterday I had lunch with the girls and my friend Marion and her children and her friend from Barcelona who was visiting her. It was Montse's last day here in the US. So we wanted to go somewhere special. We went to Chocopologie in South Norwalk.
(la Madeline au truffe; was recognized by Forbes magazine as the most expensive chocolate in the world. One truffle cost $250.00!!) Source: Diana Kuan; for Boston Globe
Chocopologie is the sort of place that will make an addict out of a casual fan. The bonbon case alone shows off more than 20 varieties of chocolate from dark with lavender ganache to white with a Turkish coffee center.
The cafe on trendy South Main Street wouldn't be out of place in the South End or downtown Manhattan. Cool lounge jazz wafts from speakers. An industrial-chic metal grating covers one wall, while the film "Chocolat" is projected onto another. On a stand by the restroom is a dress made for the 2006 New York Chocolate Show, with pastel chocolate buttons attached to the cloth.
Fritz Knipschildt, 34, a Danish-born chef and chocolatier, opened Chocopologie in 2005 as an addition to his chocolate-making operation. He first encountered gourmet chocolates and petits fours as a 13-year-old apprenticing in kitchens around France. "When you start to taste these chocolate creations you fall in love," said Knipschildt. "I started to realize there were many things you could do with just chocolate."
Knipschildt, who was born in Odense and worked in Copenhagen, France, and Spain, came to the United States in 1996 to work at a restaurant in New York's Westchester County. Before long he moved to Connecticut. In 1999, after a lot of experimentation in his home kitchen, he opened Knipschildt Chocolatiers in South Norwalk. "The first week, someone gave a box to Dean & DeLuca, and they began ordering from us," he said. "Soon Oprah found out about the chocolates, and put them in her magazine three times. Which is good, because I never had any money to do advertising."
Instead of just showing off the finished creations in display cases, Knipschildt decided to reveal the entire chocolate-making process. Culinary voyeurs can sit at a counter in the long hallway and watch what's happening in the kitchen through large windows. At one station, a pastry cook fills a mold with dark chocolate. At the next window, another cook dusts full sheets of truffles with crushed pistachios. "I wanted to show people how chocolates are made the real way, not by machine," Knipschildt said.
The menu at Chocopologie offers a range of sensible food you can eat before the sweets. There are grilled sandwiches (which Marion and me had), savory buckwheat crepes (Montse chose one of these), and full entrees such as braised short ribs or duck breast with arugula salad. A variety of coffee drinks and a stand-out spicy hot chocolate are on the menu, too. Even the French fries are from heaven! That's what JJ and Jezz had, but these are served in a pointed bag, just like in Holland and Belgium, with chipotle mayo, however also the regular ketchup ;-)
When your sweet tooth must be served, the best thing to do is randomly choose from the long list of individual chocolates, all with women's names. Try the Hannah, a dark chocolate filled with caramel and topped with sea salt. Or the Charlotte, white chocolate with apricot and basil ganache. For something spicy, ask for the Patricia, dark chocolate filled with ancho chili and tangerine.
If the small bonbons aren't quite decadent enough, the dessert menu tempts with creations such as molten chocolate cake, chocolate truffle beignets, and chocolate fondue.
We were in chocolate heaven! ;-) Try it you will love it!! Next time I only go for the heavenly chocolates, instead of filling my tummy first with sandwiches!