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Straight From Madagascar: Hot Chocolate From Fine and Raw

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[Photographs: Niko Triantafillou]

The Hot Chocolate ($4 standard, $5 large) from Bushwick's Fine and Raw is a pleasant departure from the popular styles offered elsewhere. It's prepared using 72% organic Madagascar chocolate and served unsweetened. This drink is an entire order of magnitude less sweet than, say, Jacques Torres or City Bakery, and it's thick, but not sludge-like. The staff helpfully recommends that first timers add some sugar, or more adventurously, cayenne pepper to their cups. They also offer soy milk as an option.

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Even taken straight, this hot chocolate is surprisingly not bitter, but if you're specially sensitive to bitterness some sugar may be welcome. If you want the full blast of fruit and berry flavors found in dark Madagascar chocolate, go for it unadulterated. For more chocolate exploration, Fine & Raw also offers a selection of bars with flavors like Sea Salt and Espresso for $7 to $8.

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Fine and Raw occupies an enormous loft space with a glass-enclosed chocolate factory in the back, giving you the chance to watch chocolate get made—and, more importantly, smell it along the way. There's also a huge orange crushed velvet couch that good for sipping your cocoa during your hour+ wait for Roberta's or Momo Sushi Shack around the corner.

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About the author: Native New Yorker Niko Triantafillou is the founder of DessertBuzz.com his photographs of desserts and pastry chefs have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and Dessert Professional Magazine. He is an unabashed foodie nerdling. Follow him on Twitter at @DessertBuzz.

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