Piety and Desire Chocolate, a haven for chocolate lovers, can now be found on Magazine Street.
Owner Christopher Nobles, a New Orleans native, discovered chocolate-making eight years ago. He opened a small retail store in 2017 on South Broad Street near Washington Avenue, in the same building where his chocolate is manufactured.
While the Broadmoor shop closed during the pandemic, Piety and Desire Chocolate continued to sell and ship its decadent treats. The Piety and Desire chocolate factory remains on South Broad.
Piety and Desire Chocolate is manufactured from ethically traded cocoa beans, and whole chocolate bars are labeled with the names of where their cocoa beans were grown, including Peru, St. Lucia and Vietnam.
The café on Magazine Street opened in April. The space, which operated as a bar and po’boy shop from the 1930s to the 1980s, still boasts a mahogany bar. However, instead of cocktails and sandwiches, the space is now home to an elegant café that offers gourmet chocolate, ice cream, chocolate-based drinks and coffee.
The space feels like a cozy, welcoming living room with soft chairs, sofas and two dining tables.
“The shop is a love letter to chocolate done in the style of a New Orleans café,” Nobles said. “It definitely has a ‘Northernmost Caribbean’ vibe while keeping a warm, vintage feel.”
Piety and Desire’s bonbons come in an array of flavors and shapes that coincide with the season. Selections such as apple cider caramel, brown butter bourbon, Sazerac, and peppermint snap have been created to titillate the palate.
Along with glittering, glossy bonbons that look like they would be more at home in a display case than for consumption, the shop offers an array of unique drinks, including French-style drinking chocolate. Quite simply, this dessert in a cup is melted chocolate mixed with milk.
Piety and Desire offers hot or iced drinking chocolate in tantalizing flavors like peppermint and Cajun, which has some spice. The drinking chocolate is also available in a vegan version.
There’s a selection of more traditional coffee drinks; espresso, cappuccino and a cold brew — all made with Hey! Café coffee — are on the menu.
Another treat that shouldn’t be skipped is the café’s unique take on a classic Italian affogato. While traditional affogato with gelato and espresso is available here, the Cioccogato is a scoop of ice cream topped with delicious drinking chocolate.
I enjoyed mine with olive oil and pecan ice cream, and the marriage of the ice cream and chocolate is reminiscent of the melty dessert I enjoyed in my favorite childhood ice cream shop. However, instead of hot fudge, the ice cream is topped with perfectly sweetened melted chocolate.
Next year, Nobles hopes to offer a selection of pastries and is especially looking forward to Carnival season, when he will add Piety and Desire’s “fancy king cake” to the menu.
Piety and Desire Chocolate is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Reporter Marielle Songy can be reached at email@example.com.