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OUT TO EAT / Great dishes, drinks and people

Ultimate chocolate experience

People trying Chow Chocolat's European-style hot chocolate for the first time can find it beyond merely delicious, said owner Scott Wisz. "Sometimes it seems almost like an erotic experience," he said. "You see their eyes roll back or their shoulders drop -- it can be like a heavenly experience, especially if you haven't had it before."

At Chow Chocolat (715 Elmwood Ave., 883-4388), hot chocolate is pure pleasure, built on a base of imported French or Belgian chocolate with none of the hydrogenated oils or milk powders often found in American chocolate.

"Sipping chocolate is a thick drinking chocolate that we serve in a demitasse cup," Wisz said. The 3.5-ounce serving ($4) is like espresso, just the straight deal with no alterations -- "it's almost like a melted chocolate bar," Wisz said.

Chow's hot chocolate is the same melted chocolate, cut with milk, so it's a 12-ounce cup, and flavored at the customer's direction. "We make our own caramel sauce, we make our own whipped cream, we make our own vanilla syrup, on the stove, from fresh vanilla beans," Wisz said. "It's an experience."

-- Andrew Z. Galarneau


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