Reviews

Image for Cass Danger

rating star

Review from March 2011:
I stopped in for a light dinner and dessert, only to learn that they no longer serve food, which was a bit disappointing. I got a number of chocolate bars - high-end candy bars, I suppose - which were fantastic. The candy bars run around $7 each, which isn't too bad given the size of the bar. My favorite was the "Butterfinger bar", which tasted exactly like a Butterfinger (at least my memory of a Butterfinger, which I have admittedly not had in at least 7 years!). :)

I'm disappointed they no longer serve food but I suppose that was never their forte. It's a cute little dessert shop, perfect to stop in for a quick piece of chocolate or something to go.

Review from August 2010:
I took my mom here last week while she was in town and we both really enjoyed it. As we hadn't had dinner yet, we started out with two savory options, the nut cheese platter and the quiche of the day. The quiche of the day was spinach and it had a very good flavor and crust. It also came with some plain sweet potato chips and was very good. This plate was $11 and I think it was a decent deal. The nut cheese platter was about $13 and it came with a nut pate with a good flavor and a hummus-consistency and a nut cheese that had a very deep, almost pungent flavor that tasted somewhat like wine. I didn't care for this cheese but my mom enjoyed it. The dish was artfully prepared, with the slices of the nut cheese interspersed among sliced strawberries, but I think it was fairly pricey given the price. Both dishes served as appetizers.

For dessert, we decided on a make-your-own platter and chose the praline pecan (which had a delicious flavor but was very grainy), the almond toffee (which was fantastic), the raspberry fruit pate (which was good, kind of like a big gum drop), cranberry-orange bark (which was also good, but I felt it was too soft to be bark and I personally didn't care for the cranberry-chocolate mixture)), and the apricot carmel (which I felt had a great apricot carmel flavor and a great chocolate flavor, but I didn't care for the two tastes when combined).

Overall, the chocolates were well prepared and there is tremendous variety but they are quite small. My mother also noticed that it would likely be cheaper to order chocolates independently, as many of the sweets are 75 cents to $1.50, but for some reason, a platter of 5 is $13, which was really disappointing and I feel somewhat dishonest.

The ambiance was nice and we were happy to get a table on a busy Friday night. The service was friendly, but I feel it was just a little slow and I think the waiter was trying a bit too hard to be friendly and connect with us as customers. Either way, I would go back in the future, but probably just for dessert, which I plan on ordering as independent items, vs. the platter.

Image for Lola

rating star

Visiting Cocoa V made me realize how far the vegan movement has come along over the past few years. Who would have dreamed that, by 2010, there would be an all-vegan dessert restaurant? Novelty factor aside, Cocoa V does an impeccable job at creating the chic ambience and innovative flavors that one would hope to find at such a place. While it's true that Cocoa V is beyond pretentious, the attitude is completely justified. These chocolatiers know their craft - each truffle is a hand-painted masterpiece.

For vegans who are used to having limited dessert options, this place can be a bit overwhelming at first. With more than thirty flavors to choose from, it's hard to settle on just five chocolates for a platter. In addition to excellent chocolates, Cocoa V boasts chocolate fondue, cupcakes, tarts, "whimsical" quiche slices, and cheese platters featuring Dr. Cow's Tree Nut Cheese. To top it off, you can order wine pairings to go with your truffles or choose from a nice selection of teas and espresso drinks.

If you're looking for a romantic date spot, I can't recommend this place enough! Even if you're not, I still think it's one of the "must visit" spots in Manhattan. Where else can you sample dark chocolate-coated orange vanilla caramels and aged cashew hemp seed cheese at the same table?

Image for conde.kedar

rating star

What an elegant, sophisticated, lovely chocolate and wine shop! And best of all, it's completely vegan.

I came here with a couple of friends and we were all impressed. Cocoa V has dozens of unusual candy options categorized by textures or fillings; we shared a "nut" platter ($13) and a "crunchy" platter ($13). I thought the nut platter was definitely the best, especially the pecan praline and the chocolate almond butter. But the pieces on this platter were small and not easily shared (who wants to take half a bite of a tiny candy piece?). It was also expensive given the size of the candies. The "crunchy" platter is a much better value and you get much bigger pieces of each candy, but I wasn't super-impressed with any of the items on this platter.

We also had a hot cocoa ($4) and a spiced hot cocoa ($4). Definitely go with the spiced one; it's much more flavorful. That said, both are really tasty and decadent; it's basically like drinking a melted chocolate bar. I'm kind of weird, so I was able to drink chocolate and then happily eat a plate of chocolate candies after, but that's something most people might want to be wary of.

Lastly, we tried a chocolate mousse pie ($7) which tasted good, but looked really old and flat, like it'd been sitting around for a while. The crust, in particular, had gone soft and chewy, which detracted a lot from the pie. It was also pretty small; I understand it's vegan and organic and whatnot, but people's perceptions of value play a large role in whether or not they'll return.

Along that thinking, Cocoa V could make a few improvements: offers a wider variety of looseleaf tea options (especially more greens and blacks from China, India and Sri Lanka) and offer them by the pot, so people can easily share. Maybe a combo deal such as a pot of tea and six big pieces of chocolate for $12-15---that would be a great value and would more easily facilitate the sharing aspect of any date or encounter people might have at Cocoa V. And I suspect this will be a hot date spot.

Cocoa V is a beautiful shop and worth a visit for the novelty value of a vegan chocolate and wine shop alone. I'll definitely be back.

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