Thursday, November 15, 2012

Chocolate, chocolate everywhere, and not a drop to spare - Cacao 70 (revisited)

The first time I visited Cacao 70 was not long after it first opened its doors. Back then, the menu was smaller and less eccentric, and the place hadn't seemed that special to me. A year later, I've revisited this place multiple times, trying something new each time, with each chocolatey experience outdoing the last. 

Accessibility - Grade: A
Still located  at a 5 minute walk from either Guy-Concordia (St-Mathieu exit) or Atwater metros. Still easily accessible. 

Service - Grade: B
It really depends on who you get as a waiter. We've bumped into the girl with the short reddish hair a couple of times, and she's always been very pleasant. We've also had some young men as waiters, and they seemed a little more apathetic.

Food - Grade: A-

Let me start off by saying that I've tried a few of their salted items (though I didn't take any pictures of them), and didn't find them worth the price. They serve very basic sandwiches and crepes for bloated prices; save your money for the decadent desserts.

The Vintage - Semi-Sweet
I tried their Vintage hot chocolate. They serve you the chocolate sauce and the heated milk separately, so you can make your hot chocolate as concentrated as you want. Their chocolate sauce is delicious, all rich and warm velvets, and with the milk, it creates a thick and creamy hot chocolate. The jug of milk gives you around two cup-fulls of hot chocolate.

The only problem with this set-up is that the first cup of hot chocolate tends to be very concentrated, while subsequent refills tend to be more dilute. My friend tried the milk chocolate version of this, and had mixed all the chocolate sauce with the milk on the first pour. She felt a bit nauseated from the sweetness after a few sips. What I did was to just give the mix two or three quick stirs after the first pour, so that you still have some sauce leftover for the next pours.

The Vintage - White Chocolate
My friend really likes white chocolate, so she ordered the white chocolate version of the Vintage Style. She found this particular white hot chocolate a bit too cloying, and didn't manage to finish it. Again, it might be due to the over-saturation during the first pour. If you're going to order the Vintage hot chocolate, stick to the semi-sweet or dark chocolate versions, unless you really like sweet things.

Cioccolata Calda
My friend ordered the Cioccolata Calda, which I covered in my last review. It doesn't look any different from the one I ordered last time. My friend loves dark chocolate and really liked this particular drink. However, it's not quite as thick and pudding-like as the description says. In fact, I'd say it's more watery than the American Style hot chocolate.

Triple Chocolate Fondue - Double
We shared the double Triple Chocolate Fondue amongst three people, and it was more than enough. Instead of serving the fondue in a traditional pot, they serve it in a cup with a compartment on the bottom for a candle. As you can see from the picture, the fondue has dark, milk and white chocolate layered on top of one another. 

The fondue comes with four small bowls of fresh fruit, which consists of a mix of strawberries, bananas, pinapples and apples, as well as some graham crackers and a bar of soft, chocolate brownie. The fruit were fresh and firm, and the tartness of the fruit was a nice balance to the rich chocolate, which was - as always - divine. The brownie cake was a little on the sweet side, but was soft and powdery, and the graham crackers were graham crackers. 

Chocolate Soda - Raspberry
I've also tried the chocolate soda with raspberry syrup. It's a chocolate soda, for God's sake, I had to try it. The drink consists of a chocolate base, sparkling water, raspberry syrup, ice and is all topped with a generous amount of whipped cream They also have chocolate beer on the menu, for those of you who are more alcoholically-inclined. The first sip was definitely jarring, but overall, it's surprisingly thirst-quenching. The richness of the chocolate is diluted by the sparkling water, but is still unmistakable in its presence, while the syrup adds just the right touch of sweetness.

Marshmallow Pizza - Half
Aaaaand here is my favourite item on the menu, the marshmallow pizza! When I first heard of the marshmallow pizza, I thought it would be just another imitation of the beaver tail, but no, it's actually more like an actual pizza. Where the beaver tail's dough is fried, the marshmallow pizza's dough is actual pizza dough, except perhaps a little less salted. There's a layer of chocolate sauce, both semi-sweet and milk, between the marshmallow and the dough, which acts like the 'tomato sauce'. And then there are the marshmallows. Oh my god the marshmallows.

Baked to a perfect, crisp golden brown on the outside, and warm and gooey on the inside. The marshmallows pull apart as you cut the pizza apart, just like the warm, stringy cheese on actual pizza. My cousin described this as a giant S'mores, and I don't think she's that far off. The pizza is served with a small bowl of semi-sweet chocolate, and a bowl of strawberries and a bowl of bananas. Probably just to ease your guilt for eating such a carb-and-sugar-loaded dessert.

Price - $$
This place is still pretty darned expensive for a cafe. The soda was $7.25 before tax, the half pizza was $14.95, the double fondue was $14.25, and don't even get me started on the salted foods. I still find the items way over-priced, but now that their menu has expanded, I do find that their creativity makes up for it. Still, it's not a cafe that you can afford frequenting too often.

Final Grade: B+
Overall, I find my more recent Cacao 70 experiences very enjoyable. Their dessert items are delicious, and their uniqueness and quality is what makes Cacao 70 stand out. I shaved off a couple of points for the bloated pricing, but if you're craving chocolate once in a while, Cacao 70 is the place to go!

Cacao 70
2087 Ste. Catherine West, Montreal
(514) 933-1688


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