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Cravings: Choice Chocolates

by Editorial Staff--South Jersey Magazine
When it comes to romantic Valentine’s Day gifts, nothing will melt your significant other’s heart quite like chocolate. This year, skip the Whitman’s Sampler in favor of a custom-made chocolate sculpture from Aunt Selma’s in Mount Laurel, or cashews hand-dipped in white chocolate from L&S in Maple Shade. Here are five other local ways to let cupid’s arrow fly.

1. Chocomize Belgian chocolate bars.
We first told you about this Cherry Hill-based company last year. Their website features pre-designed bars stocked with imaginative ingredients (check out the Valentine’s Bar with 23-carat gold flakes, crystallized rose petals and dried cranberries, pictured), as well as custom options that let you show off your own creativity., (856) 375-2041

2. Bayard’s Chocolates Raspberry Hearts.
These raspberry cream-filled delights come in milk or dark chocolate. They’re popular any time of the year, but especially appropriate now in a heart-shaped box. 904 Route 130 N., Cinnaminson, (856) 829-5195

3. David Bradley Chocolatier Large Edible Heart with Truffles.
The best part about this Valentine’s Day gift is that after enjoying the handcrafted sweets, you can enjoy the case they came in. 168 Barclay Farms Shopping Center, Cherry Hill, (856) 857-1400

4. Duffy’s Delicious Candies Vanilla Buttercreams.
Since 1950, Duffy’s handmade candies have been a local favorite, and none are more popular than these signature chocolates with a light and airy texture and a rich, buttery flavor. 875 Mantua Ave., West Deptford, (856) 853-1332

5. Aunt Charlotte’s Candies Crabs.
Known in some circles as turtles, these blends of roasted cashews, vanilla, caramel and chocolate feature an original family recipe that dates back to the ’20s. 5 W. Maple Ave., Merchantville, (856) 662-0058

Chef Talk
Q: What’s the one kitchen gadget you couldn’t live without?
A: I couldn’t live without a mandoline. It’s a very versatile cutting instrument that I use heavily for julienning vegetable and potato cuts.
—Chef Ian Palagye, RiverWinds Restaurant

Fast Food
After years located away from Collingswood’s main hub of bustling activity, Chef Alex Capasso has moved his Blackbird restaurant (a two-time South Jersey Magazine Golden Fork winner) onto Haddon Avenue. Situated next to West Side Gravy, Capasso’s casual comfort fooder, the new space will open early this month.

The Moorestown dining scene recently welcomed a new neighbor into town, Al Dente Italiana. Open daily for lunch and dinner, the contemporary space also offers a take-out menu.

Dublin Square, an Irish gastropub, has taken over the former site of Swanky Bubbles in Cherry Hill after a $1.5 million renovation. The space now includes a 10,000-square-foot radiant-heated patio, a game room for children and plenty of traditional Irish fare like corned beef cabbage and shepherd’s pie.

Medford Village recently saw the closing of Ted’s on Main. The space is set to become a Jamaican restaurant named Scotch Bonnets.

(Atlantic City kicks off its version of Restaurant Week later this month. Popular eateries both inside and outside the casino properties will be offering up prix fixe lunches for $15.11 and dinners for $33.11 from Feb. 27 through March 5.

Speaking of Restaurant Week, the South Jersey Hot Chefs have announced their latest installment will take place March 20-25.

Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 11 (February, 2011).
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