For those of you who just celebrated Cupid's holiday, what better way to continue the celebration of love this month than with something sweet for your sweetheart? Why not treat your loved one to a cup hot chocolate to ward off the February chill?
As for the singletons, who knows? You may meet your mate–a fellow chocolate-lover, undoubtedly–while sipping hot cocoa in one of Rye's cafés. I taste-tested three hot chocolates in Rye and found which drinks will warm your heart this month.
One of the most popular cafés in Rye is Cosi, a national chain, but also an inviting place where locals come to dine, unwind, and trade the latest gossip. I tasted the peppermint hot cocoa ($2.79), a twist on the traditional drink. Made with Hershey's syrup and a "hint of mint" according to their menu, the hot cocoa tasted like a peppermint hard candy doused with foamy hot milk–not necessarily a bad thing. A heaping dollop of whipped cream topped it off–perfect for children to devour. Cosi's hot chocolate is ideal for the sweetheart with a sweeter tooth.
With hesitation, I decided to give Le Pain Quotidien another try after last month's soup debacle. The tall Belgium hot chocolate ($3.95) was thin but tasty with a more refined chocolate flavor than Cosi's. It had an elegant finishing touch: the frothy milk was sprinkled with cocoa powder. Those on a non-dairy diet need not despair; the cocoa is made from dark chocolate and soy milk is a ready option. If you can snag a window table (the café is crowded on weekend afternoons), those looking for love can imbibe while keeping their eyes peeled for Rye's most eligible bachelors.
My expectations for the hot cocoa at Rye's Austrian pastry shop, Patisserie Salzburg, were high. Viennese hot chocolate is known to be one of the best in the world–next to the Swiss, of course. Served in a tall mug, the semisweet hot cocoa ($2.50 small; $3.25 large) was rich and thick. Don't forget a spoon–you won't want to miss out on the dregs of melted chocolate at the bottom of the mug. Beaus planning on proposing might think to hide the ring in this viscous drink, but beware–this hot cocoa is addictive and your sweetheart may slurp down the chocolate with diamond in tow! Best to just get down on bended knee.
The Verdict: Although all three cafés serve superbly distinct hot chocolates, but once again, I must take my hat off to Patisserie Salzburg.