If you were asked to picture a chocolate factory, odds are it wouldn’t resemble L’Atelier de Monsieur Truffe in the slightest. Your brain might throw up a surreal place filled with chocolate rivers and Oompa Loompas, or the nightmare assembly line from that episode of I Love Lucy. It probably wouldn’t churn out a relaxing space to enjoy brunch and marvel at how much you don’t know about chocolate (more on that later).
Recently opened to the public, L’Atelier de Monsieur Truffe is the origin of the grown-up treats for sale at Smith Street’s well-established Monsieur Truffe. Behind the unmarked red door lies a large loft-style space that’s half café and half a glassed-in workshop filled with mysterious-looking pieces of equipment. It’s airy, quiet and, of course, filled with the scent of chocolate. The menu is strongly French-influenced, with such offerings as noisette bread with homemade jams, brochette of field mushrooms and croques-monsieurs topped with leek. Cakes and croissants are available at the counter, and the shop area offers an array of chocolates made on the premises, along with various other little tchotchkes.
If you’re not normally a hot chocolate drinker, Monsieur Truffe is the place to give it a try. Several varieties are available, with a special offered daily; percentages range from 69 – 85% cocoa, and all varieties are identified by country of origin. Those whose curiosity is piqued after a glimpse inside the world of the chocolatier have the option of signing up for chocolate appreciation classes (currently held at the Smith Street address). However, it doesn’t take too refined a palate to know that L’Atelier de Monsieur Truffe is selling something special.