When in Doubt, Eat More Chocolate

They say that chocolate doesn’t ask any questions,
Because chocolate understands.
So when I’m in doubt,
I eat more chocolate.

ayza new york chocolate @sssourabh

Beyond personification, chocolate has taken a very prominent pedestal in my life. I turn to it for love, therapy, joy, trouble, seduction, sorrow, and everything in between. From an enchanting saga to a bitter burnt exploration, from textural terrains of it to a whimsical imitation of chocolate biology, chocolate is truly an integral piece of my personality puzzle. And so, on an sunny, summery New York afternoon, I ventured to replace lunch with chocolate as a dietary staple, infused with a plethora of alcoholic indulgences at the iconic Ayza Wine and Chocolate Bar, a petite rose hued sliver of tranquility (complete with neon pink menus) located in the midst of midtown’s fiery madness.

ayza new york chocolate @sssourabh

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And so we did our wines and cocktails, with a cheese-less wooden platter of chocolates. Because the soothsayers and observers are right: I dream in chocolate. Even for entire meal replacements. For doesn’t a balanced diet mean having chocolate in both hands?

ayza new york chocolate @sssourabh

ayza new york chocolate @sssourabh

Starting off with a Nevada Pinot Noir called Seven Daughters in a shotglass, despite its sumptuousness, the valley dried grape liquor marked an end to my wine for the evening, for who could focus on the reds of life when quirky cocktail mixers were on the horizon?

ayza new york chocolate @sssourabhayza new york chocolate @sssourabh

The boys got white cosmos, owing to their reduced femininity with Ketel One Citroen and white cranberry juice, a tarter and cleaner version of its girly ancestor. I accompanied this with a clean honey fizz gin cocktail with Bombay Sapphire, St Germain and club soda. Both a clean, sumptuous preface to a few notes of chocolate.

ayza new york chocolate @sssourabh ayza new york chocolate @sssourabh

I first started with mango and paprika white chocolate, owing to my grimacing face at inhaling the latter in isolation. However, the tart mango and spicy paprika were an interesting (being a neutral word choice) to the cloyingly sweet chocolate.
ayza new york chocolate @sssourabh ayza new york chocolate @sssourabh
Ever since my London youth of inhaling Quality Street chocolate, I always recall placing the orange chocolate aside as the combo made my tongue frown. Hence, when it came to the orange milk chocolate, I took a bite owing to the textural presence of hazelnuts, a nut whose woody taste was a balancing background to the briny orange that disappeared in milk chocolate.
ayza new york chocolate @sssourabh ayza new york chocolate @sssourabh
ayza new york chocolate @sssourabh
After the saccharine white chocolate, I stepped up the liquor quotient with a Bourbon drink: Called Waverly Place, it was a Bulleit Bourbon with cointreau, cherry liquor and a hint of a raspberry purée, with the strength of the former acting as a spongy blanket to envelope the fruit. The ladies got a pomegranate martini that I naturally took the lion’s share of sips from, owing to my infatuation with pomegranate.
ayza new york chocolate @sssourabh ayza new york chocolate @sssourabh ayza new york chocolate @sssourabh
Moving back to the chocolate, next came a visual stunner: a part white and part dark chocolate, accompanied by visible rose hips and pistachio bits. Aromas aside, it was a luscious bite owing to the chocolate contrast and crunchiness provided by the nuts. Not to mention how inspiring the colors looked for a menswear shirt print!
ayza new york chocolate @sssourabh

The cluster of hazelnut milk chocolate was fairly ordinary looking, something I could’ve picked up in a mainstream arena. A textural valley of adventurous troughs and highs, it crackled and disintegrated into chocolate splinters in my mouth, owing to the high quality chocolate. Perhaps good old routine is a reliable backup after all?

ayza new york chocolate @sssourabh

My favorite was the pomegranate woodbury dark chocolate, only owing to my quirky addiction to pomegranate so well documented before. While too neon pink in their crystallized brilliance, the pomegranate flavors definitely shined through the woody dark chocolate, a mountainous cloak of refreshingly rich and non-sweet flavors that melted in my mouth.

food trends 2014 @sssourabh food trends 2014 @sssourabh

ayza new york chocolate @sssourabh ayza new york chocolate @sssourabh

And thus ended an afternoon of liquors muddled with chocolate on a wooden cheeseboard in midtown New York. The juxtaposition of all things I love.

Over time, I have come to realize that money cannot buy everything but it can buy chocolate… and that’s close enough.

12 responses to “When in Doubt, Eat More Chocolate

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