As last was night was my last 'full evening' with David before he heads home to visit his folks for the holidays, I decided we'd celebrate Christmas early (which called for a fresh shirt and table linens)! Earlier that afternoon, I'd gone to Mondel Chocolates--our favorite, and quite possibly the best chocolates in the world! Don't take my word, but rather, Miss Katherine Hepburn's:
"The time we shared,... intimate conversation, and lots of dark chocolate (the best in the world) came from a small shop on upper Broadway called Mondel's - turtles, almond bark, and breakup..."--excerpt from Kate Remembered, by A. Scott Berg
David's top picks at Mondel are cocoa almonds and Champagne truffles, but every time I go (each December and February) I like to pick out something new for us to try. On my last visit I'd picked espresso truffles and on the visit preceding that, Grand Marnier and rum. This time I selected: cocoa almonds; Champagne, espresso and Grand Marnier truffles; and bittersweet and extra-bittersweet break-up chocolate.
(While on the Upper West Side, I had wanted to go to Gotham Wines, my favorite wine shop in the city, to browse their different grades of Veuve, but David wanted to meet for dinner and as he wasn't supposed to know I was shopping for his gift; I had to skip Gotham Wines and instead, picked up this classic yellow-label bottle from our local wine shop.)
After we enjoyed a light dinner (consisting mainly of wine and chocolates), I placed our Veuve on ice and retreated to our bedroom where we watched Funny Girl. As I was setting up our wine near the bedside, David gave me an early gift as well: Truman Capote: In Which Various Friends, Enemies, Acquaintances, and Detractors Recall His Turbulent Career, tied in a ribbon. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect gift.
Mondel Chocolates, 2913 Broadway, Upper West Side