This was a surprise. I got tipped off by a friend of a friend that Bedford Cheese Shop on Irving Place had a great chocolate selection. And they did!
I had not tried any of these before, and I really stocked up. With all the fancy, single-origin chocolates, my favorite was actually Zoe Chocolate Co.'s "The Raw Bar" with nibs. Because it was the chocolatiest. Obviously.
But the Dick Taylor bar was great too. The consensus was that the Ecuadorian origins had a leg up on the Dominican origins. We had lots of complicated things to say about these bars, but honestly, who really cares? They were all delicious.
There was a split over whether the Ritual bar (above) was better than the Dick Taylor bar. I had a mild preference for the Dick Taylor, but they were both excellent.
The Middlebury bar (above), had SO MUCH WRAPPING that it made the chocolate look tiny, even though it was a totally respectable quantity of chocolate. It was good, but not quite as rich as the others.
The Twenty-Four Blackbirds bar (above, smaller than it looks) suffered from some bloom (as you can see). As a result, it was probably the weakest of the four. In other chocolate-offs, though, it could easily have been the best -- it was up against stiff competition and not in top form.
I did not get to try the Poco Dolce toffee, because it had dairy in it, but it seemed to go over pretty well.
Bottom Line: A great haul from a surprisingly great chocolate shop. Or cheese shop. Details.