I would never attempt to deny it- I love chocolate. I love it. Every year for my birthday when I'm asked what type of cake Id like- I request the same, chocolate cake, chocolate icing, raspberry jam filling. It's tasty, it's decadent....well it's amazing. My family may get a little tired of it- but that's what birthdays are for right? Chocolate is my go to when I've had a rough day, when I want to celebrate something, and when I'm craving just something sweet. It is the ultimate indulgence for me, that I might indulge in a bit too often. However, when I heard that Monday September 13th was International Chocolate Day and the Bristol Lounge in Boston's Four Seasons Hotel was sponsoring a little celebration- well I knew I had to be there!
I attended a similar event in celebration of Oyster Day a few weeks back and had a ball at the Bristol. Their lounge is just the right mix of sophistication and fun, elegance and casualty, and their staff is charming and helpful. The International Chocolate Day event included a full chocolate buffet, catered by Hotel Chocolat on Newbury Street, all for the cost of a wonderful chocolate martini, or a bit of food. I had to start with the martini, I truly enjoy a proper dessert martini, and I had a feeling this one would be delicious. I was correct. I was served a beautiful chocolate raspberry martini, the rim coated with shaved chocolate, deliciously cold, perfectly bittersweet, and accented with the most lovely fresh raspberry in the bottom of my glass. I long sipped that martini, thrilled to have it's luxurious refreshment. I must admit, I could have used a bit more raspberry flavor to the mix, though the hints that I did have were subtly in the background and allowed the chocolate to shine.
Finally, after much hemming and hawing, I headed to the chocolate table to score a few bites of "the good stuff". Now, several months ago I visited Hotel Chocolat and tried their indulgent wares and had some concerns over their flavorings. Since that time I have retried their chili chocolate and have found that it's heat is actually quite nice, contrary to my original thought that it wasn't quite spicy enough. I had not re tried their liquor truffles though, and I was excited to give them a second go. I found their truffles a bit of an enigma. They have very strong flavor to them. Each bite makes me feel as though I should hold my breath and just do it, as if it were an actual shot of alcohol, however I also find them to be insanely addictive. As much as I dreaded the "shot" feeling- I went back for more and more. The quality of the chocolate itself is quite nice, pure and smooth, not overly sweet, the perfect mix really. The liquor fillings in the truffles are quite simply addictive. I remain a bit perplexed with Hotel Chocolat, happy to have tried them again, and considering a third approach...I might be under their spell...
I must also mention, we had the opportunity to try the Bristol Lounges French Fry Trio. Wow- those were some amazing french fries! Three little baskets of fries arrived, one filled with truffle fries, spotted with fresh parsley, another sweet potato fries shining in their simplicity, and the last were a Cajun creation-sweet and spicy all at the same time. With them arrived four dipping sauces, the first a jazzed up ketchup, deliciously lacking any acidic burn but rather mellowing out to a lovely spot after the initial flavor faded, an absolutely delicious lemon mayo that I found almost more addictive then the fries themselves, a spicy ketchup with the flavors of salsa in a lovely thick sauce, and finally an herb cream sauce, with similar flavors to a ranch but 100 times better. This was my first introduction to food at The Bristol Lounge, but I can tell it won't be my last- the fries, as ordinary as fries can be, were delicious.
I can confidently say that I am a fan of events at The Bristol Lounge- they are well put together, and appealing to many. The casual atmosphere lends itself to a fun evening, while the elegance allows one to easily savor the finer elements.
Of course, I am still glowing from my win of their prize of the evening- a lovely bag to be filled with chocolate from Hotel Chocolat, and an overnight stay in a suite at the Four Seasons. I rarely win contests- and this one made my day! I am already planning a meal at The Bristol the evening of the hotel stay :-)