Local Luxury: ChocoLee Chocolates Opens In Boston
If you are looking for the very best chocolate in Boston--designed and concocted in Boston--there is really only one choice. ChocoLee Chocolates (at the intersection of Montgomery and Dartmouth Streets) has just reopened in a new location!
Chef Lee Napoli, a pastry chef at such Boston-greats as Maison Robert, Anago, Metro, Bricco, The Buttery and Sandrine's Bistro, dreamed of her own line of handcrafted custom chocolates. Napoli has won many awards, including Yankee Magazine's Best Five Chocolate Makers in New England (2009), because her artisan chocolate is simply perfect.
At ChocoLee's grand reopening on March 20th, 2010, Madeleine Martino of Marblehead, Massachusetts, said "Nobody makes chocolate like Lee. When you walk into the store, you can see how passionately she loves chocolate! I absolutely crave the salted caramel!"
"Lee designs and makes the chocolate here," said Karen Jane of Boston. "She isn't buying someone else's designs, she isn't a global franchise, and she isn't collecting the world of other artisans. After I found this chocolate, I have never preferred another."
Chocolate truffles are also a major hit. ChocoLee makes a variety of milk- or dark-chocolate coated truffles. Some of the favorites include spicy Pablano chile, Chambord and lemon curd! Espresso, hazelnut, Moroccan mint and white chocolate pistachio are "simply incredible," says Mitchell Katz, a long-term devotee of ChocoLee. Truffles are $2.50 each.
If you dream of "chocolate bread" from Paris but don't plan a trip in the near future, delicious (filled with warm chocolate) beignets are still available on remaining seasonably cool weekends. Buy three for $7.00 to serve with hot coffee or chocolate when there is a chill in the morning air.
Easter chocolates are also a big favorite with customers, at $3.50 each. "I love the bunnies!" says Julia Clark of Northampton, Massachusetts. "They are filled with coconut cream--my favorite--espresso ganache or a delectable white chocolate filling. They are so beautifully done. I am giving these to a few special people unless I eat them myself!"
The new space, former Haley House Bakery, should make buying chocolates from ChocoLee easier for more customers. "I've been a pastry chef in the Boston area for about 30 years...the name of the shop is the word, chocolate, and my name, Lee...I make all the chocolates myself and they are made fresh daily. We offer a wide variety of handmade truffles which we hand scoop, hand roll and dip," explains owner Lee Napoli. "We create new varieties every week."
If you are lucky enough to take a class with Napoli, you will probably agree--this is not a class you want to cut!