Calling All Chocoholics
Caf Cioccolato brings delicious wine and a luxurious chocolate experience to Downtown St. Louis.
Fruits, grapes and cacao don’t have much in common, but refined to perfection, their end products—wine and chocolate—are a match made in heaven. Café Cioccolato, a new Downtown venue from a longtime importer of fine European chocolates, invites chocoholics and wine lovers to join forces six afternoons a week plus Friday and Saturday evenings. It’s possible to buy Belgian, Swiss, Italian and French truffles or bonbons to go from the elegant shop’s display cases, but customers who stay are in for a luxurious treat—while they relax on sofas, the staff brings their selections on silver trays.
Some play it safe, choosing basic milk or dark truffles, or go the healthy route with LeNoir 65 percent dark chocolates. Others rely on owner David Salvato’s ability to gauge their likes and dislikes, or try a pairing from a wine menu that includes unoaked Chardonnay, Shiraz, Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Chianti and port. (Cocktails, liqueurs and beers are in the works.) Then there are the brave souls who select chocolate-covered ganache infused with curry, chili, paprika, cardamom or allspice. And, as you’d expect in a shop that sells exquisite chocolates, there are the lovers, who’re often in the mood for the Divine Calvados Hearts, white chocolate with a burst of apple liqueur under a candy-red exterior.
There’s more to the café than those alluring display cases. The upstairs event space has been booking parties since early fall, and the retail shop includes the same goodies as previous Cioccolato locations, including perennially popular single-origin and dark chocolate bars. There’s room to expand, and we can only imagine the delicious possibilities that lie ahead (816 Olive St., Downtown, 314.241.6368).
Brio Tuscan Grille
Sure, you can stop by Brio Tuscan Grille for lunch or a nice dinner of grilled seafood and plate of fresh pasta. Maybe you’ve even dined for brunch. But you haven’t experienced Brio until you’ve been during happy hour. What could be better than hours of apps specials in the beautiful Tuscan-themed bar? Brio makes it easy to sample from their appetizers with the Tuscan Taster Bar Menu (available weekdays from 3pm-6pm and 9pm-close) as well as $2.95 appetizers. Stop by every Wednesday and enjoy $2 off martinis while mingling with the well-heeled hotties and professionals who frequently converge at this upscale Frontenac dining and drinking destination (1601 S. Lindbergh Blvd., Frontenac, 314.432.4410).
Photo credit: Josh Monken