Feb 082010
Authors: Michael Kalush, Madeline Novey

For some, as Valentine’s Day approaches, so does a level of hatred toward the celebration of, as one of Madeline’s friends put it, “the sudden pairing off of people getting ready for the flood.”

But, as foodies, we believe the gushy, lovey-dovey holiday allows for something more than, in some cases, a bad, forced date. It’s an opportunity to shop for and share sweets with your special someone –– or even friends. It’s your prerogative.

With that said, here’s a one shop stop to make your Valentine’s experience a little sweeter than usual.

Walking into the little Downtown space, the teal and chocolate brown walls make diners feel as if they’re encased in one of The Chocolate Cafe’s 18 desserts (priced from $6 to $10).

While remembering the start of his baking career, when he was about 8 or 10 years old, café owner Mike DelDuca is interrupted by the faint timer sounding in the kitchen.

“Excuse me one minute, my timer’s going off,” he says, going to check on a batch of breadsticks for lunch.

When he returns, DelDuca talks about Valentine’s Day at the 2.5-year-old restaurant.

It will be packed, he says, reminding people to make reservations if they want a taste of his desserts, all of which he considers special, and not one more than the other.

“It’s chocolate, what more do you want?” he asks, chuckling.

After chatting about what’s most popular –– it’s a white chocolate croissant bread pudding for $8 –– DelDuca heads back to the kitchen and returns with two visually coordinating desserts.

He sets the Raspberry Rhapsody, a sponge cake with a layer of ganache and filled with a chocolate, raspberry mousse ($7), and the Chocolate Noire, a gluten-free, chocolate torte with ganache and paired with raspberry sherbet ($8), on the table.

Two women at the adjacent table eye the deep brown and fuscia delectables and order one of each.

There are options for people who either don’t want a traditional dessert or want to enjoy their chocolate delights at home.

The café serves up chocolate and dessert martinis ($8) and offers a selection of desserts to go from the Best Carrot Cake Ever! ($28) to the Peanut Butter Pie ($20). Twenty-four hour notice is needed for to-go orders.

Staff photographer Michael Kalush and News Managing Editor Madeline Novey can be reached at news@collegian.com.

The Chocolate Cafe
102 W. Olive St.
Reservations required: (970) 482-2725
Valentine’s Day hours: 11 a.m. to at least 10 or 11 p.m.

Buttercream Cupcakery
3680 S. Mason St.
(970) 225-1040
Valentine’s Day hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
$2.75 each
$15 for half dozen
$27 dozen
Mini Cupcakes
$1.50 each
$15 dozen

Mary’s Mountain Cookies
123 N. College Ave., #106
(970) 482-5655
Valentine’s Day Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. – 12-inch heart shaped cookie (decorated to order, personal message) ($15) – Buttercream frosted shortbread, heart-shaped cookies ($2.50) – Dark chocolate, dipped shortbread heart cookies ($0.75) – Mint chocolate, heart-shaped brownies ($2.50) – Peanut butter kiss cookies ($1) – Almond glazed, sugar heart cookies ($2.50)
Will package orders in Valentine’s packaging. Request 24-hour notice for special orders.

The Melting Pot
Dinner and dessert fondue
334 E. Mountain Ave.
*Call for a special for Valentine’s Day deal
(970) 207-0100

Le Creperie
163 W. Mountain Ave.
(970) 224-2640

 Posted by at 2:30 pm

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