With Halloween being a few days away, I find it very fitting to write about candy, particularly chocolate. I could have chose to write about traditional chocolate and trick-or-treat favorites but after a recent visit to Tremont, my mind was changed. Until last week, I have only heard of Lilly Handmade Chocolates but never stopped in, usually because it was either closed or I on my way to meet friends elsewhere in Tremont. However, it was well worth the wait and curiosity when I finally stopped in the little shop on the corner of Starkweather and Professor Ave. Lilly specialized in pairing wine and beer with their eclectic handmade truffles. With truffles coming in flavors such as black perigord truffle infused honey coated in dark chocolate (The Black Diamond) to rose and marigold petals with white tea coated in white chocolate (The Lilly) you can let your taste buds go crazy. There are favor combinations that can spark anyone's taste buds. While browsing the almost twenty different truffles to taste, I decided on The Red Planet 2.0 (a black pepper red wine reduction, syrah soaked strawberries, dark chocolate, sprinkled with freeze dried raspberries on top). With three of my favorite flavors (red wine, chocolate, and strawberry) in one truffle, how could I go wrong? The tartness of the berries went perfectly with the rich dark chocolate. Since it was Cleveland Beer Week when I stopped by, next to each truffle was a recommended beer. I cannot wait to go back and see what is recommended for my next chocolate and alcohol indulgence.
I would love to say I did pair this truffle with the recommended beer or wine, but I very distracted from the numerous bottles of beer on the shelves. I cannot remember seeing such a diverse and eclectic beer selection anywhere aside from a few bars. From chocolate oatmeal stouts, to fruit beers, to pumpkin ales I have never heard of, the beer selection would give any beer connoisseur that "kid in a candy store" feeling. O wait, I was in a candy shop but one meant for grown ups. There even was a breakfast stout which very much intrigues me. The wine selection was decent, offering a nice variety, but not as extensive as you would find in a wine shop. Also, the people there are so friendly and helpful. They never rushed me in making a selection, and offered their honest opinions about their products. I never felt pressured into buying something, however with chocolate, beer, and wine, I could never leave empty handed. If you are looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth in a very different way or try a beer you could only dream about, I would recommend Lilly Handmade Chocolates. Also, it would be a perfect stop to start off a girls' night out or girls' night in. If you are looking for something for that special someone, I would also recommend visiting Lilly.
Now for a few side notes, one being quite sad. This Saturday, October 30th is the last day Michael Symon's Bar Symon will be open for business. If you have not already, make a trip out to Avon Lake this week to bid a fond farewell to one of the Iron Chef's restaurants.
Today, October 25th at Great Lakes Brewing Company, it's beginning to look alot like Christmas!! Christmas Ale will be tapped tonight at 4 p.m. Also, there may be a chance to try some of Lilly's truffles made specifically for this event. Joy to the World!!
Finally, if you have not already heard, the popular Cleveland food truck Dim and Den Sum will be opening a restaurant this spring on W.25th in the Market District.
Until next time...follow your heart, fulfill your hunger.