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Las Vegas: Destination Chocolate

Usually your first thoughts when debarking the jet way and into the glamorous city of Las Vegas are which club to frequent, what show to see, what specialty alcoholic drink to sip, where to go shopping, and where to find the best steak dinner. But after that late morning breakfast, with the sun midway across the horizon, it’s time to think of decadence that comes in the form of chocolate. The treat we rarely, if ever, would consume during the average day, is as ubiquitous as the endless rows of slot machines lining the casino floors.

Serendipity, sprouting out from the mouth of Caesar’s Hotel, began selling chocolate, and egregiously calorie filled desserts, in New York City. The décor is reminiscent of a preteen’s pink fantasy room, which is in juxtaposition to the New York eatery. The largesse of the dessert menu has yet to find a competitor within the city limits. The chocolate, whether hard, soft, or lazily cascading over a pile of ice-cream, is dark, rich, and intensely flavorful. Known for their frozen hot chocolate, it is the richest chocolate filled dessert you can sip and eat at the same time. In New York, this drink is so popular, the restaurant marketed a dry version of it at the grocery stores, but it didn’t compare to the actual version served in the shop.

Directly across the street, at the Paris Hotel, sits two more alternatives to a chocolate lover’s dreams. JJ’s Boulangerie is an authentic French bakery, and although there is not a proliferation of chocolates on display, the dense dark chocolate incorporated into the croissants and pastries is orgasmic. Biting into a gently warmed chocolate croissant oozing with the liquid is one of the most delectable sweets one can ever imagine consuming.

If you are all about al fresco dining then the Sugar Factory is the place to go. The cakes and ice-cream offer a lighter, less intense answer to the chocolate lover’s obsessions. The desserts are more decoratively playful than their competitors. The French inspired menu also offers fondue, which can be savored during the day or after dinner, underneath a canopy of stars. The city boasts its own one hundred year old chocolatier, Ethel M. The purity and intensity of the product is only surpassed by the variety in shape, form, and texture.

Strolling through the airport one can easily purchase the delicacies, but the true chocolate lovers can venture to the flagship store, touring the cactus garden, the factory, and ending up in the expansive retail shop perfumed with the essence of chocolate. For the pure of heart, this is a must see and do when visiting Las Vegas. If you prefer your dessert dressed up on a sparkling plate, with white napkin service then The Grand Lux Café, located at the Venetian Hotel, is the place to go. Chocolate is offered in a plethora of wildly caloric forms from molten chocolate cake, to French Beignets, to warmed homemade chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, and the trendy red velvet cake. Even though the restaurant is part of the Cheesecake Factory Empire, the attention to detail and the deep intense flavors mark these desserts as epic. Ice-cream cones can be purchased at every casino, but eat them fast because when the thermometer reaches well into the one hundred degree mark, your dessert will melt before your eyes.

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