Chocolate, they say, is an aphrodisiac. I had never personally noticed the fiery effects chocolate can have on the senses until I went to the newly opened Chocolate Bar. It was a brisk Saturday morning when I realized that chocolate was making me fall in love with chocolate.
I’ve always thought chocolate was good, in the same way you might always have noticed that your mailman is attractive. But it takes a change in context, a change in presentation, to realize that Chip is the man of your dreams and that chocolate is the food you want to spend the rest of your life with.
My heady crush on chocolate began the Friday night before, when I encountered chocolate in guises I was unaccustomed to: cocoa amaretto martini ($7) and a dark, intense chocolate almond cake served with raspberry coulis and honeyed goat cheese ($7).
I shared the cake and martini, as well as a “chai tini” ($7) with my friend Amanda. At first sniff, the chai tini smelled of eggnog. Upon drinking, the potent, zesty chai flavor burst through the warm, mild alcohol. The cocoa amaretto was a perfect, creamy, sweet concoction that was like chocolate almond milk with a splash of liquor. The goat cheese was tangy and whipped-cream smooth; it turned the chocolate cake into something special. Everything tasted deliciously fattening.
When Amanda, her fiancé, Andy, and I first arrived, there appeared to be standing room only, so I was surprised that we were immediately welcomed by co-owner Tom Jones, who came over from the bar and informed us that a table would open up any second. He was right.
Due to the unexpected mob, there was a delay in getting some of our drinks. When we brought it to bartender Beau Bevier’s attention, our drinks arrived quickly. We were compensated for our wait by getting a couple of extra martinis and some decadent chocolate truffles. (Everything is made in-house with lots of organic ingredients.)
When I returned the following morning, co-owner Emily Reid said the bar was unprepared for such a successful turnout and that she’d be taking on more staff to accommodate the evening crowds. Beau was there again and made me a spiced hot chocolate ($4) containing a distinctive and tummy-warming mix of cocoa, orange, ginger and anise seed.
The biscotti also deserve mention: They are nine inches long, dense, chewy, delicately sweetened and full of whole almonds. On my frequent future visits, I will order biscotti ($1.50 each) first then figure out what drink I want to accessorize. These are biscotti I might just have to start a second love affair with. The cookies—assorted delicious chocolate (duh) varieties at 85 cents each—are also very worthy accompaniments to hot drinks and sweet teeth.
Chocolate Bar doesn’t feel like a bar as much as a swanky, urban restaurant. The interior is a stunning combination of wood, leather, fabric and tile all in different shades of cocoa. The pièces de résistance are the mini TV screens gracing the length of the bar showing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie Chaplin films and Betty Boop cartoons.
Chocolate Bar is the most unique—and brownest—bar/café/candy shop to grace Reno in some time. It’s brought a couple new loves into my life, and it’s sure to make chocoholics out of the as-of-yet unconverted.