With winter temperatures reaching negative numbers recently, I’ve been seeking out the perfect salon de thé (tea salon) in which to enjoy a rich chocolat chaud, cozy and safe from the arctic chill in the streets.
I took line 7 to pont neuf, walking over the bridge with a lovely view of the Seine and a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower in the foggy distance. A dusting of snow surrounded the proud statue of Louis IV mounted on his horse. Continuing down rue Dauphine, I admired all the Thai restaurants, art galleries and chocolate shops along the way. I almost walked right past Passage Dauphiné, its entrance is so subtle.
Inside the passage, away from the bustling streets, everything was quiet. L’Heure Gourmande was situated just a few shops down, its cheerful façade decorated with plants and a few bright colored chairs and table outside.
Inside, surrounded by warmth, there was a quiet clatter of dishes and a whisper of conversations. I sat by the window lined with orchids and looked up at the people sitting at little tables on the mezzanine. The atmosphere was cozy and calm, perfect for teatime.
My friend arrived and we glanced at the menu. A table of cakes was displayed nearby, showcasing a tarte au chocolat, tarte aux pommes, a sponge cake, and little berry pies. While all of this was quite tempting, we settled on the chocolat chaud à l’ancienne, old fashioned hot chocolate, as le Figaro names it as one of the top ten hot chocolates in Paris.
The waitress brought over two antique tasses de thé and a carafe of water which we would definitely be needing. Next, she came back with a pot, a wooden churning mechanism sticking out of the top. She lifted the lid and slowly poured the thick chocolate into each of our mugs. Indeed, it was as thick as melted chocolate bars. I took a sip and was transported to heaven. However, the chocolate was so thick it was better to use a spoon to eat it. The texture was very smooth and the flavor not too sweet, though there was no need to add any sugar. Rich and velvety, we devoured the chocolate slowly, savoring each spoonful. Alas, neither of us could finish our mug, but we left more than satisfied.
22, passage Dauphine
© 2012 Pasa’s Paris