Chocolate Maya Debuts

Allan Appel PhotoIt’s called a “Chocolate Manhattan”—one you can now get one in New Haven, at our town’s new, and only, dessert bar.

Robert Klinger, who also own and runs S’Wings on Crown Street and the Little Salad Shop next door on High Street, was serving them up at a grand opening of his newest venture, Chocolate Maya at 47 High St.

The dessert bar’s free champagne and chocolate offerings drew more than 200 people into the cozy eatery for the Thursday night opening.

Klinger, who used to be a manager at Atticus before he became a food entrepreneur in his own right, said that the Norwalk-based Chocopologie outlet at the location had been doing well enough, but decided to close its doors in June.

Klinger noticed that New Haven had no dessert bar. So he decided to try one. He kept the wide range of truffles created by Chocopologie’s Fritz Knipschildt’s, has added the creations of local chocolatiers, and secured a liquor license.

He opened the place in December. He decided to wait until students and the largely Yale-affiliated crowd, who comprise most of the store’s customers, were all back in town for an official opening event.

Business has been going well. Between serving up flutes of champagne, the wait staff Thursday said many customers swing by after dinner for dessert and drinks.

Those drinks—rums, brandies, whiskies, vermouth, and liquors—now prove that you can infuse a “Manhattan” with as much chocolate as you can put alcohol in a truffle.

Or at least that combination of delicious vices seems to be at the heart of Klinger’s food and drink design schemes.

He said the signature drink that is so far the top draw is that Chocolate Manhattan. The ingredients: Kings County Distillery Chocolate Whiskey, sweet vermouth, Angostura bitters, and a cherry.

If you’re not looking, he’ll drop a truffle on a colorful toothpick right in the middle of it. The truffle also contains booze.

What with the other drinks on the menu—- the Absinthe Drip (absinthe, sugar cube, chilled water), the Hanky Panky (Hendricks Gin, vermouth, Fernet Branca), the Painkiller (Kraken Black spiced rum, pineapple and orange juice, coconut cream, nutmeg), or the Salted Caramel Martini (caramel vodka, Hiram Walker schnapps, butterscotch, and sea salt caramel truffle)—Chocolate Maya can be a dangerous place.

Don’t let your friends motor home alone afterwards. Or they may be picked for a new offense, DWIC: driving while intoxicated with chocolate.

Choclate Maya also serves tartines, or small open faced sandwiches. The hours are not quite established, but roughly noon to 11 p.m. weekdays and 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. on the weekend.

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posted by: BenBerkowitz on February 3, 2014  9:37am

Nice to see an NHV business owner take over. Feel like the folks from Norwalk never really got NHV.

200 people is a heck of a lot people for an opening.