La Maison du Chocolat's Opening Party
Early last week I’ve received an invitation from La Maison du Chocolat. I thought “ZOMG!” If you haven’t known this by now, I love everything from LMDC, especially their chocolates, so it’s a reflex for me to RSVP. But I have to wonder, isn’t this considered bad timing to open a new luxurious boutique in this awful state of our economy? I wouldn’t know but I can’t say “no” a party.
After work, I’ve hauled my butt from work (with Helen in tow), get squished by commuters to take the downtown 6 and 4 train, respectively, to get to Wall Street.
Sighing from relief and trying to get non-recycled air into our lungs, Helen and I walked down Wall Street to a short red-velvet rope that’s in front of the entrance. An employee checked off my name from the list and we’re allowed to enter, seeing several people putting in the final touches for this fête.
The problem with this party is that it seems like they overextended their invitations that all of the party-goers are packed like it’s rush hour. No one can really move around in this small store and have to live with the little bumps and excuse mes. But I guess no one really cares about the latter since they’re all drinking it up and starting to eat food.
Trays of FOOD (from top left, clockwise): puffs with Gruyere fondue, pumpkin soufflé with marscapone cheese, seared tuna with wasabi cream, prosciutto rolled with foie gras, potato purée with caviar, and beef carpaccio with Parmesan cheese crisp
Whomever LMDC hired as their catering company, did a pretty good job. All the hors d’ouerves were fancy and most were delicious. Helen and I really liked the seared tuna rolled in a sesame crust, topped with wasabi cream (classic pairing), puffs filled with Gruyere fondue topped with a walnut (liked warm, gooey cheese and its sharpness, as well as the earthiness of the walnut), prosciutto rolled with foie gras, filled with fig jam in the center was my favorite (saltiness of the prosciutto and foie gras, the sexy, creamy texture of the foie and the fig jam brought in some sweetness).
The ones that were good but not as great were the beef carpaccio with Parmesan crisp (good beef but nothing stood out in my mind) and pumpkin soufflé with marscapone cheese topped with pistachio (good but it wasn’t pumpkin-y enough).
The least liked was the potato purée with a type of cheese (I forgot which one) topped with caviar. The flavors were flat, meaning that I tasted the saltiness of the cheese and caviar for half a second and then I tasted heavy potato that was bland. Meh.
And there’s more… Obviously, La Maison du Chocolat can’t have a party without sampling out their famous chocolates and macarons, along with a few interesting concoctions. There’s a warm, spicy chocolate ganache (practically the consistency of their hot chocolate) topping off a mix of nuts; I thought it was good but I’m not too fond of the chocolate and chile combination. The one I do like more was a half shot glass of Pommery Champagne with a halved Salvador chocolate (the raspberry ganache covered in dark chocolate couverture) – the Champagne tasted like raspberries and vice versa; a flavor combination I like.
The macarons were obviously delicious. They served all of their flavors – chocolate, raspberry, caramel, and coffee – but the one I’ve never encountered before was the blackberry macaron. It has all the characteristics of a good macaron (thin, crisp outer shell meets fluffy, moist crumb, both filling and cookie taste like what it’s supposed to taste like naturally), the blackberry flavor was sharp and not too sweet. Why haven’t I eat this before?
The party was fun. Good food, good alcohol (if you like your Champagne) and rubbing the wealthy’s elbows, literally. After an hour and forty minutes of partying, the LMDC employees wanted to kick us all of us out because there’s others waiting outside the door.
As a parting gift, they gave each of us a small, 12-piece box of LMDC chocolates. Awesome.