The traditional definition of “hunting and gathering” societies, where members of the group head out to seek animals for protein and gather edible fruits, nuts and grains, harks back only a couple of decades in some parts of the world. But the updated definition of “hunting and gathering” has truly evolved (or has it?) on the Upper East Side of New York City or any other major cosmopolitan city on the planet today. Instead of humans spearing furry animals for steaks, fur-clad (mink, fox, chinchilla, beaver) humans go shopping… First, up, for that meat and protein fix, a visit to Lobel’s on Madison Avenue. Located in a tiny storefront, with part of its chiller visible to pedestrians outdoors, gorgeous cuts of meat are on display at this New York temple of meat. Established in 1840, the 157 year old and several generation owned shop sells beautiful hunks of beef, amongst other meats. With a 16 pound trimmed prime grade roast beef here running close to $500, this is a pricey but delicious stop. Imagine what they would charge for a whole cow??? Oh, and you need not trek to the shop if that is too much trouble, they deliver around the neighborhood, or order from them on-line, Lobel’s link here.
After securing the protein, one needs the fruit, nuts, and of course the chocolate to bind it all together… and what better place to get the goods than at La Maison du Chocolat, at their beautiful shop at Madison and 79th. That’s The Kid at the window of LMduC ready to “gather,” her eye on this massive selection of chocolates in the circular box below, shown in the shop window… She settled for a whiff of the store’s interior, redolent with fine cacao essence. Pound for pound, I think La Maison du Chocolat charges even more than Lobel’s does for a Prime cut of meat… I still think these are amongst the finest quality chocolates on the planet… LMduC, link here.
But a new arrival to the rapidly expanding world of designer chocolates, is Vosges, which has a small shop several blocks up from La Maison. I first tasted these chocolates just weeks ago, and there was an intriguing selection of flavors and or ingredients including chilli, cinnamon, sea salts, etc. They were unusual and many were very good. The shop itself was reminiscent of a Parisian store, and the name Vosges, was apparently a result of the owner, a lady, deciding to open her chocolate business while she was on Place de Vosges, in Paris… We bought several different types of chocolates here, many for pasalubongs, and many that didn’t get much further than our fridge and dining table… I would highly recommend them to chocolate lovers… the bars with some sea salt were particularly good, as were some of the caramel based concoctions. We ate several boxes of caramel toffee bars in a flash. Yum. Vosges, link here.
Arrrgh…. now wasn’t that a tiring afternoon hunting and gathering? :)