My sister asked, How do you keep finding these chocolatiers out in the boonies? This time I had stopped to browse Sebastopols Antique Society in search of a set of nesting tables for my living room. There had been a small nondescript café near the entrance my last visit a couple years ago, but this time something looked different. An extensive assortment of delicately crafted chocolates was arrayed in the display counters and the walls were decorated with the awards won. I learned that La Dolce V Fine Chocolates had previously only been available by mail order or at Neiman-Marcus.
The handcrafted Belgian-style chocolates were dainty, bite-sized morsels, about 12 to a quarter pound (~$12). Purchased in bulk, they're plopped unceremoniously into a flimsy white paper sandwich-sized flat bag. A box costs extra. Not one to stand on ceremony, I took mine in a bag and whisked them into the car. With fine chocolates at hand, I was several miles down the road before I remembered that I was shopping for tables!
Shared later that night, the five of us made short work of the chocolates. I had purchased two of six different varieties:
Hazelnut crunch - the shape looked like an eggplant to me, but I was informed that the milk chocolate exterior was molded in the form of a hazelnut. We liked the delicate crunch of the milk chocolate and hazelnut praline filling.
Jasmine Honey - decorated with white curlicues and filled with green jasmine tea and honey-flavored ganache, somehow I missed tasting this one.
Renaissance - decorated with a gold filigree pattern on the bittersweet chocolate shell, the bittersweet ganache was infused with a floral tea. This was the only one I didn't care for as it seemed excessively smoky and had a bitter, astringent aftertaste.
Vanilla Bean Caramel - a flattened heart-shape, soft and oozing vanilla-scented caramel was enrobed with bittersweet chocolate. This was a universal hit.
Pavé - a flattened square of silky and plush caramel-flavored ganache covered in dark chocolate. We all liked this one too - the caramel flavor is quite intense.
Banana Flambé - a fat heart molded of dark chocolate filled with fresh banana so ripe and soft, it's almost liquid, yet still with some bright acidity to add a lilt to the finish. This was my favorite, the combo of banana, dark rum, and caramel reminding me of Bananas Foster.
The café also offers French-style hot chocolate. I'll be return to try it - I still need to find some nesting tables.
The only mention of La Dolce V on Chowhound I could find was this old post from Leslie Brenner.
[BROKEN LINK REMOVED]
La Dolce V Fine Chocolates
Chocolate Boutique and Café
2661 Gravenstein Hwy. S