A Latte and the Cocoa Bar in the LES

This morning I went to the Lower East Side for the sake of a recent opening and in hopes of a good latte. It’s been ages since I’ve put my lips on a good latte or even a cup of superb coffee, so I went back to the Roasting Plant.

Roasting Plant

I ordered this time a medium latte ($3.50) since I wanted to know if their latte is good as their espresso or regular brew.

Whole Milk Latte from Roasting Plant
Whole Milk Latte (medium)

As you can see from the above photo, it’s a bust. The latte was too diluted with milk. It lacked the crema and the robust espresso flavor. I was disappointed but at least I know now that for a good cup of latte, just go to Ninth Street Espresso but Roasting Plant do have really great drip and espresso.

After a while walking around and getting lost in the Lower East Side for twenty minutes (I’m not too familiar with the geography down there), I finally found Cocoa Bar.


After staring at their drink menu for 5 minutes and contemplating what the heck I want to eat, I ended up ordering their Port Soaked Fig ($4.50), a Chocolate Cloud Cookie ($2), and a small dark hot chocolate ($3.75). Yeah, I’m stuffing myself with chocolate…

Dark Hot Chocolate Dark Hot Chocolate

My food The food

The hot chocolate was well…milky. The chocolate flavor was practically muted out since there was so much milk.

But at least the food or snacks, technically, fared so much better. The Chocolate Cloud Cookie reminds me of an ultra light version of a fudgey brownie, if that ever existed. It had a thin, crisp crust with a fudgey, light center. It’s rich, decadent yet light in texture. I love this cookie. It’s a close version to Jacques Torres’ Mudslide Cookie without the chocolate overkill. I need a better comparison.

Chocolate Cloud Cookie Chocolate Cloud Cookie

Chocolate Cloud Cookie; in half Innards

I bought the Port Soaked Fig just because I love figs. What isn’t there I don’t like? Hmm…I need to think that one out but back to the fig. The fig has infused with enough port wine that it sweetens yet gives it an winy, alcoholic bite. Don’t worry it won’t make you drunk. I have a low tolerance for alcohol anyways. The thin dark chocolate covering and the chocolate ganache (about 72% cocoa) that filled the center of the fig gives it a bittersweet contrast to the sweetness imparted to the fig and port. Even though it is pricey for its size but it’s worth it. I could make it at home but acquiring a bottle of port is pricey too. I’ll figure it out.

Port Soaked Fig

Bitten Port Soaked Fig Bitten; I know it’s a bit gruesome

So it’s a day of mediocre beverages but good snacks or I should say desserts, even though I ate this at 11 AM. I’ll consider it dessert before lunch since my real lunch wasn’t really worth blogging about.

Roasting Bean

81 Orchard Street
New York, NY 10002

Cocoa Bar
21 Clinton Street
New York, NY 10002


I shoot, eat, and drink. My full time job is a hospital administrator. Moonlighting as a freelance photographer and food and travel writer.

  1. Carol says:

    I randomly came across your website and absolutely LOVE it.
    The vibrant pictures and mouth watering descriptions of food add a whole other meaning to eating. I look foward to future posts. You have a new stalker, now.

  2. eat2love says:

    tina – one of my fave ports is quinta da noval get their LBV which stands for late bottle harvest . this is a sweet port which is a mere $13. (had great ranking in wine magazine a few years ago) i did a vertical tasting of quinta da noval ports from no vintage, LBV, vintage, to 10 year, 20 year, 40 year which costs way more, but my fave is still the LBV . and it’s perfect for soaking figs yumm sluuurp…….
    i’d soak cherries in it too. double sluurp yumm.

  3. Doug says:

    Have you sampled Caffe Bacio?They’ve got some good latte. There’s a couple of locations on the UES.

    Are you all finished w. school?

  4. thewanderingeater says:

    Carol: Thank you so much for loving my site! :) Err…I hope you don’t mean “stalker” in a bad way.

    Jo Jo: Ooh! Thanks for the port recommendations. I’ll get a bottle whenever I’m dying for some port and figs. This is going to be dangerous for me…

    Doug: No, I haven’t tried Bacio. Actually, I need to explore the UES more often…that’s if I’m ever motivated to travel up there.

    No, I’m not finished with school yet. I have another week of classes then two days of finals the following week. Grrr…

    Kris: Cocoa Bar’s cool. Whoops! I’ll change that now…it’s supposed to be reversed.

  5. lara says:

    oh my god- i just went to cocoa bar last night and had a cucumber sakitini, a blueberry mojito and a chocolate sampler platter – TO DIE FOR!!! they were out of figs ;( oh well, i guess i’ll just have to go back!

  6. thewanderingeater says:

    Steamy Kitchen: I’m so sorry that you have no good roaster in Florida! Or maybe you can get some coffee beans by mail order and grind them yourself…?

    Lara: I wanted to try out their night scene since their day manager spoken to me when I went there. She strongly suggested that I should try their blueberry mojito when I go there. Wuh? No figs?! That’s just cruel…you must go back for them. It’s soo good.

  7. barry sta says:

    If you think a particular cafe’s latte is too milky, go for a cappuccino or a machiatto. A latte, by definition, is milky. A cappuccino has less milk. A machiatto is an espresso with just a dollop of foam, and is highly recommended if you like espresso. The diluted latte is NOT the drink for coffee-lovers. And Starbucks’ is the worst — from the bad, overroasted coffee to the outrageously high proportion of milk in their venti latte AND cappuccino.

  8. Lois Hodor says:

    If it is incredible coffee you require with incredibly cool concept Roasting Plant blew me away.

    Chocolate makes me break out anyway, except for their chocolate walnut cookies. The perfectly cool place — finally!!!! And love those dancing beans!

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