Many years ago, I was celebrating my birthday in Paris with my cousin and a close friend. The friend had insisted on making all of the arrangements, so my cousin and I acquiesced and let her take care of it all. The night of my birthday, she picked us up and drove us out to Neuilly to what was a very chic restaurant. Upon opening the menu, I discovered that it was strictly a seafood restaurant and the only non-fish item on the menu was an appetizer salad with goat cheese. Even though I was not a vegetarian back then, I had never liked fish, a fact that everyone that knew me was cognizant of. I ordered the salad and picked at it, while the friend who had made the arrangements kept trying to get me to eat some of the fish, which I politely refused. Finally, my cousin couldn’t hold back any longer and blurted out, “Why would you bring Mdivani to a restaurant that serves only fish when you know that he doesn’t eat fish?”. To which she replied, “Because it’s my favorite restaurant!” Which elicited from my cousin, “But it isn’t YOUR Birthday!!”
I was starving as we drove back to our apartment. My cousin gave me my birthday present in the car, a giant box of chocolates from La Maison du Chocolat. I started ravenously eating them, when their incredible quality finally registered in my head and slowed down to appreciate them. Needless to say that I have been a fan ever since and was happy when they opened up a store in NY.
Last night was the 20th Anniversary of the La Maison du Chocolat store opening in New York and I attended the event with none other than the divine Ms. FABulous. To celebrate, the event was dubbed “La Nuit du Gateau” (The Night of the Cake) and they offered up a diverse selection of chocolate pastries, cakes and other delicacies to all that came between 7-12pm. As you waited in the long line to get in, servers brought out trays of deliciously rich hot chocolate, which not only warmed us on a chilly Fall evening, but whetted our appetites for what was to come. Once inside, you were given the opportunity to taste a chocolate pound cake, choose between various flavored macaroons, a chocolate raspberry cake, mini chocolate filled eclairs, a pastry with a layer of chocolate above a thin crispy cookie-like pastry, chocolate mousse and a vanilla ice cream with crumbles of nutted chocolate on top. Every single offering was a sheer decadent experience of the finest most exquisite tastes of chocolate and reminded me why I so loved this place.
As the experience washed over me, I was already making plans to come back to the boutique later in the week to purchase more of their wonderful bites of paradise. Happy Anniversary and here’s to another 20 years!!