In this hustle and bustle of everyday life, it is important to remember to stop and taste the chocolate. To deliberately indulge and escape. Destination: Vosges Haut Chocolat.
Making your way to Vosges is deliberate – as finding a place to park in Lincoln Park is deliberate – and when you walk through the doors of this boutique, you are transported to an exotic and whimsical world. Trippy foliage mixed with crystal chandeliers, bonbons tucked into every corner, moody and a little cavernous – like a welcoming, chocolatey Alice in Wonderland.
Vosges bars, truffles and caramels are flavored with spices, herbs and flowers from around the world. Coconut ash, Reishi mushroom, curry powder, black sesame, 12 year balsamic vinegar, marigold petals…. anything is possible. (I once went to a play paired with Vosges chocolates (what? yes.) and had a Taleggio truffle plated and drizzled with olive oil (RIP Redmoon Theater). I once ate cardamom rose and blood orange hibiscus caramels out of a 3 tier hatbox! Will wonders never cease??!)
How can you decide what to get if everything is so unfamiliar/weird? #1: the staff at Vosges is super helpful and understanding of your plight; never intimidating chocolate know-it-alls, always equally-as-excited-as-you chocolate educators. #2: there are samples everywhere! Sometimes entire truffle samples! Alltimes little glass domes set about at just the right intervals – intervals where they know you’re thinking “huh??” Vosges wants you to stay, experience something new, expand your chocolate horizons! A Vosges trip is not an impulse grab of a Snickers bar hastily scanned alongside nail polish and travel Kleenex.
Still can’t decide? Better try everything again! Of course you’ll be taking some chocolate home, but what about right now? Can you stay in this magical place all day please? Well, yes you can. You are invited to linger over the liquid gold of hot chocolates, bonbon and wine pairings, or even just a single truffle from the truffle bar in back. A single truffle: presented as if it were a $50 dinner, or at least a $5 muffin. A single truffle: wolfed down in a single bite (please don’t) or savored over the course of 2.5 bites (much better). But still, how long does that take? Approx 6 minutes. How long can you stay? Approx forever.