Downtown chocolate places for Valentine's Day worth a nibble and a few extra calories:
Last time I walked into Chocolate Bar they had a pretty good selection of other chocolatier's chocolates, but they were all rather pricey, perhaps because everything they buy almost everything they sell and mark it up accordingly.
Address: 48 Eighth Ave. (bet. Horatio and Jane Sts.)
Christopher Norman, AKA John Down, who makes very fine fancy-pants chocolates, finally has a shop to call his own.
Address: 60 New St. (bet. Beaver St. and Exchange Pl.)
Jacques Torres: Torres probably has his largest selection here, including terrific ice cream sandwiches made with housemade ice cream and his killer cookies.
Address: 350 Hudson St. (King St.)
Kee's Chocolates: Everything at Kee's is minimalist and perfect. Well, maybe the prices aren't perfect, but Kee Ling Tong makes every piece herself, I do believe. Try the coconut truffle, a dark chocolate truffle coated in not very sweet toasted coconut. Dee-lish!
Address: 80 Thompson St. (bet. Broome and Spring Sts.)
Li-Lac Chocolates: Homey retro American chocolates from yesteryear. Here you're buying the good enough chocolate and the nostalgia that comes with it.
Address: 40 Eighth Ave. (Jane St.)
Phone: 212-924-2280 Also at the Grand Central Market.
Mariebelle: Mariebelle Lieberman may have taken her act uptown, but she hasn't forsaken her Soho roots.
Address: 484 Broome St. (bet. W. Broadway and Wooster)
Michel Cluziel: Hands down, the best chocolates I have tasted in New York this year come from here. Get anything made with caramel and you will be very happy indeed. Crazy expensive.
Address: ABC Carpet & Home, 1st Fl., 888 Broadway (19th St.)
Roni-Sue's Chocolates: Roni-Sue makes terrific buttercrunch and other things at her tiny stall in this rejuvenated lower east side spot.
Address: Essex Street Market, Essex Street
Phone: 212-260-0421 No on-line ordering. Call the phone listed above.
Varsano's: Sublime pecan patties and pretzels dipped in caramel and chocolate. What more is there to say?
Address: 179 W. 4th Street (bet. 6th and 7th Aves.)