Chocolat by Adam Turoni

323 W Broughton St. Savannah, GA 31401 • (912) 335-2914 •  chocolatat.com

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If only one could actually eat with their eyes, then perhaps Turoni would be worthy of its price tag, not to mention its colossally inflated rating on Yelp. But unfortunately the best part of the experience ends the moment you exit the shop. And it is an experience, I’ll given ’em that.

Tall, gorgeous glass cases filled with these delectable looking jewels (pictured) flank you as you enter. Each grouping of chocolates accompanied by a card that describes the complexity within. Then, armed with a steel tray and tongs, you are sent out to collect your own box of goodies throughout the shop. It really is terrific concept.

But here’s the rub… Only about two of the ten we purchased were worth the calories, as the overwhelming majority fell way short of their promise. The flavors just lacked the impact one hopes for when you bite into a morsel of chocolate. The habanero wasn’t spicy enough. The caramels weren’t gooey enough. And the chocolates weren’t rich enough. I don’t know about you, but subtlety has no place in the land of desserts as far as I’m concerned. Go big or go home. Now I’m not saying that all desserts have to be heavy or rich, but I AM saying that if I’m going to put my health at risk to try your dessert, the least you could do is send my endorphins on the ride of their life!

So personally I would say skip Adam Turoni and walk a few more blocks over to Leopold’s Ice Cream, a dessert that will easily be worth every last calorie. Plus, the exercise will help compensate for the added poundage.

If you do stay, go for the one with musical notes on it. It’s half white chocolate, half dark, with hazelnuts in the middle. And proceeds from its sale go to the local philharmonic. A distant second was the one made with Brazilian coffee. Beyond those, it’s amateur hour. So load up on those two, or be warned.

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Richart

Available at GASTRONOMIE • 491 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10024 • 1-800-742 4278 • richart-chocolates.com

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I suppose it’s no coincidence that the last name of this chocolatier was a prophetic glimpse into his life’s work, creating “rich art.” Because they are undeniably both rich and a work of art.

Far superior to the likes of its confectionary sibling Godiva, who also began in the mid 1920’s, right next door in Brussels as opposed to Lyon. And while history definitely proved out who had the better marketing plan, they most certainly did not have the better chocolate.

This is not to say that Godiva is crap, it’s fine. But it’s also not even worthy of comparison to Richart. Richart is something truly special. A treat for the eyes and mouth alike. In fact, their chocolates are so beautiful it almost saddens you to eat them. Well, up until that moment when joy takes over because you’re tongue is doing the happy dance in your mouth.

And while Richart may be smaller and harder to come by (their stores have closed in the U.S.), it’s worth tracking down. It’s still family run, third generation and it’s one the best gifts under $50 on the face of the Earth. So if you truly want to impress your Valentine, skip the mall this year and shower her with “Riches” instead.

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Anna Shea Chocolates

100 West Higgins Rd. South Barrington #5E, IL 60010 • (847) 428-5446 • annasheachocolates.com
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You’ve undoubtedly heard of Swiss chocolates and Dutch chocolates and French chocolates, but have you ever heard of South Barrington, Illinois chocolates? No? Well then you don’t know what you’re missing. And I don’t mean that in the pat, colloquial sense of the term. I mean you are woefully oblivious to one of the finest chocolatiers on the face of the Earth.

Packed into this quaint, little shop are a handful of cases loaded with mini battalions of the most artful, colorful chocolates you’ve ever seen, almost looking more like toys or trinkets as opposed to chocolates. And as a refreshing twist, for once a chocolatier actually makes the outsides indicative of their insides. For example, if the chocolate looks like a pear, guess what? It has pear inside! And if it looks like a banana, it has banana inside! What a concept, right?!

Anna even thinks outside the box when it comes to the boxes, the larger ones unfolding tier after tier as if they were carrying fine jewelry.

But gimmicky Anna most certainly is not. Oh no. These babies easily hold their own against the likes of Rich Art and La Maison du Chocolat (screw Godiva). From truffles to caramels and everything in between, each one explodes in your mouth with the creamiest, gooiest decadence one could ever hope for from a square inch of cacao and sugar.

Yes, Anna is world class, even if that world is only about 600 square feet.

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