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Death by Chocolate: The Ultimate Valentine’s Day Dessert Guide

622dd5a310028dfadba1ffdbdb0f5010Thanks to Valentine’s Day, chocolate is February’s signature sweet; yet its integrity has been somewhat sullied by heart-shaped boxes of (mostly corn syrup and cocoa butter) confections.  So if you’re going to let January’s diet resolutions go out in a blaze of fudgy glory, you might as well hone in on the good stuff, from the Amadei Chocolate Budino at Leuca to the Triple Chocolate Chunk Cookies from Untitled.

Hearth

Hearth
403 E 12th St
East Village,New York 10009
(646) 602-1300

Marco Canora recently lured dessert guru Karen DeMasco out of semi-retirement, in order to make cleaned-up-classics at his newly health-conscious Hearth.  Which means you can feel kinda virtuous about tucking into sweets made from unrefined flours and natural sugars, such as Stella’s Pudding; a parfait of devil’s food cake, chocolate pudding, mascarpone and hazelnut crunch.

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Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate

Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate
43 W 42nd St
Midtown West,New York 10036
(212) 201-1985

Not only does Gabriel Kreuther run one of the most respected, high-end NYC restaurants right now, he’s quickly becoming one of the city’s go-to chocolatiers as well.  Drawing on the skills of longtime pastry chef Marc Aumont, his shop peddles exquisite truffles and specialty bon bons, such as herb and coconut, black sesame trinitario, and pear balsamic marmalade, as well as a Patron Alquima collection, featuring milk chocolate bars filled with ginger, pumpkin spice, and limited edition Patron Extra Anejo 7 Anos.

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Untitled

Untitled
99 Gansevoort St
Meatpacking District,New York 10014

As admirable as all of acclaimed pastry chef, Miro Uskokovic’s desserts are (including a layered, creamy Chocolate Cup and intense Chocolate Fudge Cake), he’s drawn universal raves for  — of all things — a gluten-free Triple Chocolate Chunk Cookie; formed from Thomas Keller’s Cup4Cup flour, and a triad of chocolates; 72% dark, 38% milk, and 31% white.

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Leuca

Leuca
111 N 12th St
Williamsburg,New York 11249
(718) 581-5900

The breakout dessert at Leuca (Andrew Carmellini’s first Brooklyn foray) is the Sophia Loren; a two-person affogato with espresso gelato, rum granite, caramel crumble and chocolate sauce. But cocoa takes a front seat in a number of other (equally notable) options; including a decadent Amadei Chocolate Budino (custard), topped with hazelnut gelato and sea salt, as well as a trio of sugar-crusted Bomboloni (doughnuts), meant for dipping in pure, warm melted chocolate.

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Butter & Scotch

Butter & Scotch
818 Franklin Ave
Crown Heights,New York 11225
(347) 350-8899

Originally known for pies (like S’mores with milk chocolate custard and toasted marshmallow in a housemate graham crust), you can find — frequently chocolatey — treats of all sorts at the brick-and-mortar outpost of Butter & Scotch, such as Triple Chocolate Brownies, Hot Fudge Sundaes and the Hotline Bling Cake; dark chocolate cake with dark chocolate frosting, salted caramel sauce, and gold glitter sprinkles.

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La NewYorkina

La NewYorkina
14 W 19th St
West Village,NY 10010
(212) 243-6844

While best associated with Mexican paletas (popsicles), owner Fany Gerson has made a concession to cold season by showcasing one of the country’s other, signature sweets; hot chocolate.  Made in the traditional way, with a molinillo (a wooden whisk that froths the milk and chocolate together), the extra-rich potage is enhanced by chili powder, and a dusting of toasty cinnamon.

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Ample Hills

Ample Hills
623 Vanderbilt Avenue
Brooklyn,New York 11238
(347) 240-3926

What could be better than a scoop of Ample Hill’s lauded Salted Crack Caramel Ice Cream?  How about two scoops of one of its newest creations, The View; a base of chocolate marshmallow ice cream interspersed with ooey gooey butter cake pieces, brownies, and shards of those aforementioned crack cookies; saltine crackers coated with butter, sugar and chocolate.

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Chocolate Room

Chocolate Room
269 Court St
Cobble Hill,New York 11231
(718) 246-2600

For full-on cocoa indulgence, it’s hard to top the Chocolate Room, a nirvana of Brownie Sundaes, Black Bottom Butterscotch, Flourless Chocolate Cake, housemade Candy Bars and a Chocolate Fondue for Two; a deluge of 61% Belgian goodness lapped around strawberries, bananas, orange cheesecake, graham crackers, coconut macaroons, marshmallows and all-natural peanut butter fudge.

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