It’s the day after Valentine’s Day and I wanted to share what my boyfriend gave me because it was…
J. Chocolatier was created by Jane, who used to have the shop in Georgetown, D.C. We used to visit often, like maybe once a week, and we’d bring a friend or two along if we could. The shop space was sooo tiny, it could barely fit a handful of people. But we thought that was pretty charming and unique 🙂 The space was cozy with warm yellow lighting. It was exactly how I imagined a local chocolate shop in a city would look like, giving off those fancy vibes yet be welcoming. Unfortunately, due to the age of the building and temperature control issues, J. Chocolatier could no longer hold shop there and they had to move elsewhere (that shop space has now been transformed into a Japanese restaurant, Kintaro, which I also recommend). They are now near the Eastern Market metro as a pop-up shop. Sadly I haven’t been able to make it out there as often as I’d like because it is a bit of a trek for me. I was just telling my boyfriend that I really wanted to stop by J. Chocolatier at some point, and he surprised me with their chocolate for V-day!
I think cherry almond was the first chocolate bar I tried by J. Chocolatier. And I remember immediately liking it 🙂 I absolutely loved that you could clearly see and appreciate whole almonds and chunks of dried cherries in the chocolate. Personally the wrapping and look of this bar seemed simple yet sophisticated. Actually, I think all of J. Chocolatier’s packaging for their truffles, bars, hot cocoa and others have this down-to-earth look and feel to them, and I really like that since I tend to prefer the minimal look.
When smelling the bar, the dark chocolate was earthy and with my eyes closed I could get a hint of those almonds and cherries on top. I could truly taste that the almonds were toasted and that added to the grounded flavor of the dark chocolate. This chocolate bar has been the only one I’ve tried that mentions the almonds being toasted and my being able to immediately detect and enjoy the toasted flavor, because sometimes it’s not always obvious and I have to look for that toasted almond flavor. The cherries had this sweetness that seemed to bring out and counterbalance the bitterness of the dark chocolate. The dark chocolate on its own I even enjoyed. The taste was balanced through the period of consuming it, meaning there’s no “dirt” aftertaste at all. The texture and flavor overall was smooth. It’s rare for me to want to eat a whole dark chocolate bar, but if anyone were to ask me which I’d eat in one sitting, it would be this one 🙂
I also had to admire how the figgy nut bar looked. Maybe it’s just me, but the appearance of the figs reminds me of dried flowers. With it being cold and snowing outside, the figs reminded me of spring 🙂 The figs smelled delightfully sweet mingled with the fragrance of the walnuts. For some reason the overall smell was familiar, but I couldn’t put my finger on it as to why. The figs had a chewy texture and upon the first bite I got a nice crunch of what I’m guessing is the peppercorns on top. After the initial taste of the figs and walnuts, the pepper warmed up as a secondary flavor and followed through in the aftertaste. This was my first time trying the figgy nut bar, and it’s quickly become a favorite 🙂 I think my favorite part of this bar was the chewiness of the figs.
Last but not least is J. Chocolatier’s fleur de sel caramel truffles. According to their website, this is one of their most popular products. Upon the first bite, it’s clear as to why. The dark chocolate shell gave a nice crunch that was just as satisfying as eating potato chips 😀 Then my mouth was flooded with gooey caramel goodness with surprise chunks of sea salt from the top of the truffle. I do like chewy chocolate covered caramels, but when the caramel inside of truffles is more viscous, it makes me feel like the flling was freshly prepared. It’s truffles like this that give you a warm feeling and force you to savor the moment 🙂
All of the truffles have this line going around the middle of the circumference which makes me wonder if these were made in a mold (I honestly have no idea how truffles are made except for hand dipping them), but the shape and look of them I think is really cute!
I highly recommend J. Chocolatier!!! Out of all of the local chocolate shops I’ve tried so far in the area, they are my favorite 🙂 If you’re visiting D.C. and plan on taking the metro to get around, go to Eastern Market and check their store out. If you live locally and can’t get to their location, you can order some of their products online. I actually keep forgetting that I can order online, so I guess I don’t really have an excuse for not eating their chocolate as often as I’d like
J. Chocolatier: Made in Washington, D.C.