Nothing says Valentine’s Day like chocolate. Whether you want to make it, bake it, eat it, drink it or just buy it, you can find it all here in the DMV. And remember, chocolate isn’t just for Valentine’s Day -- i'ts good any time.
Make it or Bake it
Chocolate making at SPAGnVOLA in Gaithersburg starts with a factory tour followed by classes where you’ll make basic chocolate Ganache filling, create truffles and learn different dipping techniques. February 16 and 17. $75.
Become an expert in French desserts as you learn how to bake the ultimate French cookies and dip them in chocolate. You'll make chocolate pots de créme garnished with a nutty praline crunch and crepes with Brandy sauce. At Sur La Table in North Bethesda on February 8, 17 and 23, in Alexandria on February 8, 17, 23 and 27, and in Arlington on February 8, 17, 23. $75.
Enjoy Valentine’s Day with macaroons, Champagne and dark chocolate. Practice techniques for everything from mixing batter and baking macaroons to creating decadent ganache and buttercream fillings. At Sur La Table in North Bethesda, Alexandria and Arlington on February 10. $85.
Create hand-made truffles at The Willard InterContinental, crafted from fine cacao hand-picked at the chocolatiers’ farm in the Dominican Republic, then roasted and refined in Maryland. Master chocolatiers from SPAGnVOLA guide you through the process while sharing their knowledge of cacao growing, chocolate history and truffle making. Class includes making chocolate ganache, tempering chocolate and hand-rolling your own truffles to take home. Reservations required. February 9. $65 per person / $100 per couple.
The Watergate is also partnering with local chocolatier SPAGnVOLA to offer a Chocolate Truffle Making Class. Learn about cacao growing, chocolate history and truffle making, before trying your hand at truffle making yourself. Of course, you'll take home a box of completed Valentine's Day truffles as well. Held every Saturday and Sunday in February. $60.
Eat It or Drink It
Celebrate Valentine’s Day from Monday, February 11th through Sunday, February 17 with Champagne, chocolate truffles, and chocolate covered strawberries at the Fairmont in Georgetown. Pose for photos in front of a romantic instagrammable background. Purchase a glass ($10) or bottle ($50) of Thienot Rose Champagne and the rest is complimentary.
Toast to love in The Champagne Bar in the Willard's lobby with the Romeo & Juliet cocktail, made with Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey, Zacapa 23 Rum, Vanilla, Chocolate Mole and Grapefruit Zest ($17).
Ana, the restaurant at District Winery, adds zip to its hot chocolate with Grenache red wine lees, a byproduct of the fermentation process. The drink also comes with brandy and a homemade marshmallow ($10).
At Radiator at Kimpton, you can let your inner kid shine with several chocolate-y experiences. Make your own s'mores or build your own ice cream sundae. Or grab a friend and enjoy a carafe of hot chocolate ($5) topped with marshmallows, heath bar, sprinkles and cinnamon. You can make it an adult hot coco for an extra $5.
Go overboard with chocolate at Conche, Leesburg’s chocolate-themed restaurant with a chocolate boutique. Have a hot chocolate with dark, milk or white chocolate, milk chocolate peanut butter or salted caramel. Add a shot of your favorite liquor, be it bourbon, Baileys or rum. Want more chocolate? You’ll find chocolate added to many of restaurant’s dishes as well, with chocolate chipotle and chocolate barbecue sauce.
Just Buy It
Artisan Confections specializes in fresh, hand-made chocolates, using ingredients ranging from French Valrhona chocolate to organic mint grown on a Maryland farm.
Schakolad makes their chocolates on the premises using a European-style family recipe, with the chocolates prepared and dipped to the customer’s request. For Valentine’s Day, choose chocolate heart boxes filled with assorted chocolates, chocolate covered strawberries, boxes of custom flavors, and a dozen chocolate roses.
SPAGnVOLA was voted one of the “Top 10 World's Best Chocolate Shops” by National Geographic. The shop uses cacao beans harvested from their farm on the mountain slopes of the eastern part of the Dominican Republic. Only the finest beans make it to their factory in Gaithersburg where they are roasted and refined in small batches bringing out the flavor of premium chocolate.
Who would guess that Chocolate Chocolate D.C.'s main attraction is chocolate? They sell other candies as well, such as specialty bonbons, but chocolate is their specialty. Find a great selection of heart-shaped boxes filled with chocolate truffles, dark mint squares and more.
The Chocolate House features a tasting room and boutique store with more than 300 unique confections from chocolatiers from all over the world.
Hit up Pastries by Randolph for the dark chocolate mousse cake, a decadent chocolate cake filled with rich, dark chocolate mousse and decorated with dark chocolate shavings and a handmade dark chocolate rose. The shaved chocolate cake, another stellar option, is layered with velvety chocolate buttercream, a thin layer of raspberry jam and topped with chocolate shavings and chocolate sprinkles on the side.