food 11.21.08

L'Atelier du Chocolat

L'Atelier du Chocolat, 59 W. 22nd [5th/6th] 212.243.0033, tipping its hat to Robert Linxe, the master chocolatier of La Maison du Chocolat, opened quietly three months ago on a Chelsea side street.

The space is elegant but tiny; there's not enough room to swing a caterpillar, never mind a cat. Displayed modestly in rows, the small chocolates seem temperamentally averse to showboating. Nevertheless, they come packing. The fourth generation chocolatier behind this atelier, Eric Girerd, knows how to tamp concentrated flavor into a single hallelujah bite.

Forced to choose, we'd pick the caramel, the thyme, and the jasmine tea as recent favorites, though it's hard to go wrong. And while there may be more recession-friendly stores in New York, a box of ten pieces, $17, is a worthwhile splurge in our book. Due in shortly: marrons glacé.


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