New Yorkers who have always felt that chocolate has not been given its proper due will be delighted to know that Chocobar Cortés, a family-owned chocolate maker hailing from San Juan, has claimed its spot in the South Bronx.
According to The New York Times, the company, whose New York store will be its first location in the United States, selected Mott Haven as the target destination because of its "large Puerto Rican and Dominican populations and its proximity to similar communities in Inwood, Spanish Harlem and Washington Heights."
Helmed by chef Maria Martínez, the restaurant also hopes to benefit from the recent slew of new developments that have been taking residence across the neighborhood.
At Chocobar Cortés NYC, diners will get to order "classic" chocolate-heavy menu items (there are 10 hot chocolates to choose from!) but they'd be remiss not to take a chance on the more particular offerings as well. Take the grilled chicken sandwich with chili cocoa chicken breast, sourdough bread, gouda cheese, asparagus, lettuce, tomato and Cortes balsamic chocolate vinaigrette, for example, or the chalupitas de mofongo, a roasted pork dish with pineapple pico de gallo, guacamole with chocolate, mole sauce and pique de chocolate. There's even a salad drenched in chocolate vinaigrette (local greens, crunchy chickpeas and beans, cherry tomato, avocado).
Willy Wonka would have a field day here.
The Cortés family, the clan behind the operation both in the Puerto Rico and state-side, are already familiar with the American chocolate market, operating as distributors of chocolate to a number of grocery stores and bodegas across 20 states. This will be their first restaurant outside of Puerto Rico, though.
Word to the wise: after trying out as many dishes as you can on premise, do consider ordering some spreads and condiments to go. From a chocolate sauce to a chocolate butter, a chocolate seasoning and—perhaps most excitingly—a chocolate hot sauce, there are plenty of surprising options to choose from, all sure to add a touch of creative flavor to anything you plan on cooking at home.