The Xocolate Bar

August 1st, 2008 — 7:31pm

I am madly in love with The Xocolate Bar — a new chocolate store in Berkeley at 1709 Solano Avenue. Owned by Malena and Clive, a former metalsmith and glassblower respectively, their chocolates are deep, rich, and wonderful (my favorites are the Kalamata Olive truffle — salty and sweet, and the Cardomon ganache). Malena makes her own molds, and the results are gorgeous — a zaftig Venus of Willendorff, a spritely Bacchus, and lusty Kama Sutra tiles. And if that weren’t enough, the molded chocolates are covered with an iridescent shimmer. They even serve vegan chocolate (no carob silliness here!). And, they serve it all with great smiles and good will. The store has become a favorite hangout for me and my boys, and if you live in Berkeley or are just passing through, I urge you to stop by and taste their divinely inspired confections.

I had just come from Mandy Aftel’s perfume studio (more on that another time) where she had given me an absolute of Black Spruce (how wonderful is Berkeley?) I gave Malena a smell from the bottle and I had, what I humbly consider, a flash of genius — conifer chocolate for the holidays! Malena seemed amused and interested. Come December, we shall see if she and Clive have whipped up something foresty and sweet.

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