Published on VancouverisAwesome.com
Once at a party, I proudly declared, “Desserts are better than sex.” A friend replied, “Maybe you just haven’t had good sex?” Although his question has been gnawing at me for the past two years because I still love having desserts more than sex, the conversation itself clearly demonstrates the dysfunctional place desserts have in my life. I am a walking, talking Cathy cartoon; or a real-life, male Liz Lemon. So, believe me, I may not know much about great sex, but I do know a lot about guilt-inducing, carbohydrate-ridden treats.
Incidentally, it’s Valentine’s Day this weekend, and we can all agree that one of the best parts of this “holiday” is its focus on chocolates, candies, and desserts. To be honest, Valentine’s Day does not particularly mean anything to me, but I very much like the idea of celebrating love. Any kind of love. With that in mind, I checked out 3 places in Vancouver that get lots of attention for their desserts, to hopefully help you in your quest to have an exceptionally lovely time this weekend. Even if you are single, just call up someone you love and take them out for some dessert; you really don’t need romance to make this holiday special.
Koko Monk Chocolates
The first place I checked out was Koko, in a quiet, Brooklyn-esque part of Kitsilano. And it was an experience! They don’t have a lot of tables – it’s more of a place where you grab a box of chocolates or treats to-go – but Paul is basically a chocolate whisperer. He lets you taste whatever he is cooking up in his kitchen, and he will describe the transition of flavours you experience in your mouth as it is happening! It is eerie!
Moreover, everything at Koko is organic; Paul makes his chocolate using the South American method, without adding any preservatives or sugar to it. The Cappuccino made with Peruvian coffee and the sea salt caramel macarons were to die for! Plus, they have Turkish coffee and lots of tasty goodies you can purchase as gifts. They are also a participant in the annual Hot Chocolate Festival, which runs until the 14th. Even without a special occasion, if you’re a chocolate lover, check out Koko, because the tasting was almost a spiritual experience.
Even though I’ve lived in Vancouver for several years now, this was my first time at Cheesecake Etc. I was very impressed with the ambiance and its energy overall; it even sort of feels like you’re in a cafe in Paris. However, for a place that’s called Cheesecake Etc., I was surprised to find only 2 types of cheesecake on the menu: the original and chocolate (though, you can add peanut butter sauce and fruits). Another bummer for me, personally, was the fact that the cheesecake didn’t have a Graham Cracker custard; though, it was still very light and flavourful. Although I have had better cheesecake and service, Cheesecake Etc. is definitely a very romantic joint to check out this weekend.
If you’re not on a budget and enjoy desserts and champagne, you can make Mosquito the headliner. From the elegant presentation to the stunning design, Mosquito is probably one of the most upscale places I’ve been in Vancouver. It is sexy yet sombre, which is why it would be an especially optimal dessert place for the newly coupled. In fact, you may even want to skip dinner, go to Mosquito, and just have champagne, charcuterie, and dessert tapas (definitely order the Popcorn Ice Cream Sundae). And if you’re single, I’m thinking girls night out.
Initially, I had intended to pick a winner, but in this case, I believe that it would be unfair because each place serves a different purpose. So, for this weekend specifically: Koko is the perfect little spot for coffee or hot chocolate, with an organic chocolate tasting on Sunday afternoon. Cheesecake etc. has the best atmosphere for sharing a slice of cheesecake after a fancy dinner on Saturday. And if you want to impress and woo your date, Mosquito is your best bet.