La Maison de Coco

It can’t quite rival the chocolate tarte at Bread & Roses in Paris. Of course, this one’s just a few towns away and pretty delicious too, so I guess I won’t complain…

Honestly, it’s about time that Newport had a charming little tea and chocolate shop, and on Bellevue Avenue no less. Last weekend, we stopped in to Maison de Coco and despite the fact that it was 80 degrees, I ordered a tea-infused dark chocolat chaud (hot chocolate) and a chocolate tarte. The chocolat chaud was perfection — not as thick as Burdick’s, but with an equally rich flavor.

The inside of La Maison de Coco.

Although the shop has a petit café where you can enjoy your treats, Geoff and I had to take turns since the kids were asleep in the car (more chocolate for us). On his trip, he selected a handful of chocolate truffles, also tea-infused and also delicious.

Between the beaches and surfing, Flo’s and Frosty Freez, I didn’t really need another reason to go to Newport. But now I have one.

La Maison de Coco
28 Bellevue Avenue
Newport, RI 02840

Legendary Lovers Collection for Valentine’s Day

The mouth-watering Legendary Lovers collection from Garrison Confections.

The mouth-watering Legendary Lovers collection from Garrison Confections

I know I already wrote about Garrison Confections, but I felt compelled to highlight their Legendary Lovers collection of handmade chocolates for Valentine’s Day. The truth is I adore chocolate, but I generally dislike boxes of chocolates. I find most of them have unappetizing gooey centers so the box ends up filled with half-bitten, abandoned blobs.

But not the Legendary Lovers collection. Each of these little morsels contains a perfect balance of soft interior with a thin crisp chocolate outside, such as the John & Yoko, a homemade pistachio marzipan enrobed in dark chocolate, or the Francois Bouche, a raspberry ganache and raspberry pâte de fruit enrobed in dark chocolate. Of course, expertly made chocolates like these come at a price — $26 for a box of 12 to be exact. The truth is we are lucky to have such an extraordinary chocolatier in our state — chocolate this good is hard to find at any price. It may seem expensive, but like fresh locally grown produce, there’s value in the real thing.

Yesterday, we stopped by their Central Falls location — a modest building with a miniature chocolate shop inside manned by chocolatier Andrew Shotts himself. They are typically not open to the public, but made an exception this weekend and will be open Monday, February 14 from 11 am-6pm, so there’s still time to taste for yourself (they also take online orders). Even better, he shared the news that he’s planning to open a shop in Providence. So I guess I’ll just have to go there myself when they open and eat more chocolates for yet another report.

Garrison Confections
72 Ledge Street
Central Falls, RI (see their Valentine’s collections)

Garrison Confections: Rhode Island’s Chocolatier

Garrison Confections produce delicious artisan chocolates right here in Rhode Island.

Yes, it’s true that I have a new cavity for the first time in decades, and I’ve found a reason worth making more – Garrison Confections. This artisan chocolatier in Central Falls, Rhode Island makes such excellent chocolate that it rivals the likes of Galler in Belgium. Their “turtles” – salty caramel covered with a sliver of dark chocolate and sprinkled with pecans – are definitely addictive. And their hot chocolate mix reminds me a bit of Burdick’s, which I also love (although, in my opinion, you only need 2 heaping teaspoons instead of a 1/4 cup for a steaming mug).

Tasty "turtles"

If you happen to be buying a present for someone with a sweet tooth, they have plenty of pretty designed chocolates in fancy boxes. As for me, I’m sticking with the turtles.

You can visit their factory outlet this month for the holiday season, or you can find them Saturdays at the Wintertime Farmers’ Market in Pawtucket.

Garrison Confections
72 Ledge Street
Central Falls, RI 02863

Top photo by roboppy.