You do it over maki, mochas and martinis...why not chit chat over chocolate? Like stepping into a giant pink hat box, Ethel's Chocolate's Kate Spade-esque interior (in the Renaissance Hotel) proclaims the wonders of the stuff, with quirky signs like "Welcome to chocolate paradise, population you." The idea, actually, is that it's you and a friend, or a gaggle of them. As a "chocolate lounge," Ethel's cushy red loveseats, upstairs seating area and front patio urge you to kick back and stay a while.
Take coffee with your tea when you order truffles and tea for two ($15), where two spots of tea come sided by espresso, dark chocolate, ginger citrus and cinnamon truffles, among others. You and three of your closest friends can split the chocolate fondue, in your choice of milk or dark, for $25.
Not looking to have such a sinfully rich afternoon? Grab a beverage and purchase just one or two of the delicate creations to nibble on. More art than chocolate, it's hard to pass up the pieces, which bear fashionable images, like the '50s-style martini drinking madame that graces the Classic Cabernet, a piece where robust wine notes join intense dark chocolate.
Average cost: <$10