Wednesday, August 03, 2011

CC: Vosges Haut-Chocolat

What does CC mean?

Subject: Vosges Haut-Chocolat
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Free WiFi ? : no
Rating: 3+ [see key]

For many people, boutique chocolate consists of Whitman Samplers, Godiva and Ghirardelli, all of which can be easily picked up at your neighborhood pharmacy or department store. But if you really want to get quality exotic chocolates, the big name I know is Vosges, who not only focuses on great ingredients but also focuses on unconventional yet tasty combinations (like aged balsamic vinegar, hazelnuts and chocolate, not to mention a full line of bacon truffles).

When I was in Vegas, I made my way over one afternoon not for the chocolates but for the coffee. I had heard that their Las Vegas store served Intelligentsia coffee, a tip that upon arrival proved true. With little delay I plopped down at their bar and ordered a double espresso yet as the barista began, I became aware of an odd difference. I had initially noticed the absence of a typical commercial coffee grinder for the espresso but what followed next shocked me a bit. The barista pulled out a pre-made, pre-ground espresso pod with an Intelligentsia wrapper.

Taken back, as Intelligentsia rides a high horse of coffee quality and prepackaged espresso pods seemed like quite a fall from the saddle, I inquired to the barista as to why they didn't just get whole beans and grind them there. Not knowing much, she fetched her boss. The boss' reasoning was that their location in Caesars Palace amidst the Forum Shops did not pull in enough coffee traffic to warrant the investment. Yet, since quality coffee was still a part of their menu, they struck up a deal with Intelligentsia to send them the pre-ground pods close to roasting, with the understanding that Vosges would use the pods as quickly as possible (I believe she said within the week of receiving them). While I mentioned that I understood the reasoning, it still seemed like a lot of work for a lesser quality product.

Of course, I still imbibed the espresso I originally ordered. The shot was fairly long (voluminous), with blonde crema and it smacked of milk chocolate, nutmeg, a bit of milk and peanut. To put it simply, the shots contained far too much volume and hence were the least potent shots of Black Cat (the espresso blend) that I've had. But strangely enough, the ensuing beverage was still actually pretty tasty and I finished it quite easily.

While I was slightly depressed with finding that Vosges has a great coffee supplier but not the tools to adequately utilize it, it did help to put it into perspective that they never claimed to serve amazing coffee. Thus, if you're near Caesars Palace and you're in need of a half-decent coffee, it's still better than what surrounds it.


elooo said...

i like this blog sirrr

Elena said...

I never tried Vosges..I am a coffee and chocolate addict. I even started a blog

I am glad I found your FaceBook page, I'll follow the updates.