Martine's Chocolates | 400 E 82nd St. (off 1st Ave.) | 212.744.6289 |

I'VE ADMITTED THAT I'm not much of a "sweets" person. I appreciate a good cookie or cake, or spot of ice cream, but, usually, just that: a "spot". A fork- or spoonful can reward me with many palatable pleasures without weakening me to utter gluttony. Even in my youth, I remember not even having a slice of my own birthday cake, or missing it.

Which may be why, while meandering around my neighborhood, I seem to be prone to being completely unaware of the fabulous "sweets" stores that are, to other more knowledgeable people, true gems of Yorkville.

One of those gems is the 106-year old Glaser's Bake Shop, which I happily discovered only a few months ago. Another is a "bôite" called Martine's Chocolates, which I just happened to notice on my way to The Big Cheese—my newly discovered little gem of a cheese shop—biding time while waiting for my recent paella ordered to be ready for takeout.

That was this past Easter Sunday, and Martine's was closed for the holiday. I reappeared the very next Monday to find them open and inviting.

The interior is a veritable FAO Schwartz of the sweet tooth, definitely not in size and scope, but definitely in decor and variety of wares.

If that wasn't enough, I had a full Willy Wonka flaskback when I saw their chocolate making machine.

They offered a free sample. Yes, please...!

Don't even know what I had, but it didn't matter. The solid chocolate shell of whatever I ate immediately turned into a warm pool of sweet cocoa goodness, the kind that miraculously appeals to and titillates every part of the tongue, front to back, as well as the roof of the mouth.

I quickly ordered four to go—to share with my fellow staff at the restaurant—and the sweet lady behind the counter quickly and neatly mini paper-cupped them into dainty magenta boxes and thanked me, hoping, she said, to see me again. Oh, you will!.

Yes, they are pricey—a box of 4 for about 10 bucks—but these are very special chocolates. As I brought a box back to the restaurant of my other employ and shared a powdered sugar-dusted champagne truffle, a milk chocolate-covered almond marzipan, a dark chocolate-covered banana mousse, and a nut-covered truffle ganache (or something like that) with my friends Ali and Gina, who quickly, and with squeals of great glee, devoured them.

Don't you and your friends deserve the same...?! ;)

Bun Apple Tea!


Martine's Chocolates | 400 E 82nd St. (off 1st Ave.) | 212.744.6289 |