Cacao70 in the Distillery District | Toronto
Cacao70 is a diabetic’s worst nightmare and a chocolate lover’s wet dream. An establishment devoted to cacao confections like fondue, crepes, hot chocolate, etc., the Montreal-based chain opened in the Distillery during the annual Christmas market, so naturally I avoided it like the plague until things settled down in the new year. My friend Kara and I met up last week to give the new choc-spot a try.
The freshly minted space is brightly lit with industrial fixtures and decorated with painted tile floors, eclectically covered banquets and mid-century knockoff chairs with chocolatey notes floating through the air. It looks chainy, as to be expected, but it’s comfortable and smelled ridiculously good, even from the sidewalk.
Three separate menus were brought to us after we had chosen our table: a list of numbers and countries, along with a sandwich menu and sweet menu. The menu is choc-block — you can eat chocolate for any meal at this place — from single serving fondues ($11.25) to chocolate chunks oatmeal ($10.25) to banana chocolate milkshakes ($6.75), it’s actually pretty overwhelming. Luckily, the enthusiastic sever then explained the complicated-looking laminated page was a list of chocolates that were destined to be melted down to coat the inside of a brandy snifter to maximize hot chocolate amazingness. Sold.
Kara’s classic American-style hot chocolate ($5.25) came first.
There was nothing ‘classic’ about this hot chocolate; it was rich and thick, and basically tasted like a melted milk-chocolate bar.
I chose to go with a snifter coated in 58.3% Belgian dark chocolate
The server placed my chocolate collection drinking chocolate before me ($9.75) with a steaming pitcher of rich drinking chocolate. This drink isn’t the same as hot chocolate you typically make at home, which uses cocoa powder: drinking chocolate is melted chocolate nibs only. I slowly poured it into the brandy snifter coated in the richest Belgian chocolate I’ve ever tasted. Drinking this beverage is literally like drinking a bowl of melted chocolate (when our server had placed a bottle of water and two glasses on our table I though it odd, and then thanked him in the end, you freaking need to hydrate in between succulent sips!!).
I couldn’t even finish it all and my sugar high didn’t wear off until midnight. But I’ll be back… they have brunch after all.
The chocolate chain’s ninth location is set to open shortly on Queen West, so don’t worry, west-enders, your cacao coma is coming.
28 Gristmill Lane | Toronto, ON | (416) 216-8686 | www.cacao70.ca/en/