Go handmade and haute this Valentine’s Day
There is nothing like the cliché of roses and a box of chocolates to let that special someone know you care — at the last minute. Think quality over quantity, and always keep in mind the preferences of the object of your gift and affections.
This lovely little shop is all about the organic and fair-trade beans, with a dose of single origin to spice things up. Choose from truffles like caramel fleur de sel, chipotle cinnamon, Kashmir cardamom and lemon ginger, and then wrap up the lot in of their beautiful bamboo gift boxes. (www.xoxolat.com)
Dutch Girl Chocolates
Organic, fair trade, and handmade in the back of the shop (you can see the action through the open window), the truffles at Dutch Girl are made for guilt-free pleasure. Bonus for vegans—Dutch Girl makes several dairy-free truffle varieties. (dutchgirl.shawbiz.ca)
The handmade truffles here are delightful — try Lucy in the Chai and Chariot of Fire — but their chocolate bars, like the white chocolate and dried cherry, are to die for. They also make old-fashioned English brittle toffee and other handcrafted treats. (www.cocoanymph.com)
You won’t find truffles here, but what you will find is chocolate treats like the crushed biscotti chocolate balls, churros served with warm Spanish dipping chocolate, and cupcakes that will cause you to go into a sugar-induced vibrational tizzy. They are also doing choco-grams this Valentine’s. Available right up to the 14th, the café will call your recipient and have them come and pick up their treat and special message. (www.dulcineachocolatecafe.com)
Justifiably famous in Vancouver — and around the world — for his handmade chocolates, confections and pastries, Thomas Haas is still churning out his famous truffles and chocolate sparkle cookies by hand. Try the milk chocolate truffle perfumed with Champagne and eau de vie, or the dark chocolate with lemon zest and thyme. (www.thomashaas.com)
Miku Restaurant (1055 West Hastings St.) will be offering special sashimi “Podium Platters,” showcasing seafood from the Tsukiji Fish Market in Central Tokyo. Offerings include yellowfin, flounder, red snapper, and amberjack. Choose from Bronze, Silver and Gold platters, $60-$150 each. Call 604-568-3900 for reservations.