There’s a reason that chocolate is THE universal gift for the human population: it makes everything better, including bad things (break-ups, work stress, travel delays) and stuff that’s already pretty darn good on its own (cookies, ice cream, champagne).
It makes sense that chocolate is often the go-to gift for ninjas in charge of spreading holiday cheer, thanking employees, and delighting clients. But, just like any culinary indulgence, chocolate is a trendy little treat. And ensuring you’re sending along the coco du jour requires thorough and dedicated research.
Ninjas, we took one for the team and taste-tested a selection of chocolate delicacies to ensure that our recommendations to you were solid. It was truly difficult work, but we were happy to do it… all in the name of research, of course.
Our first stop: Bottega Louie in Los Angeles, CA.
Why Bottega Louie?
Because Jay-Z, Beyonce, and Madonna said so! Not only is Bottega Louie a frequent establishment for celebrities, but 10,000+ Yelpers also give it a thumbs up. In fact, Bottega Louie, which also features a 255-seat bustling Italian restaurant and French patisserie, is one of the top 10 most reviewed eateries in the US.
To see if the chocolate lived up to the hype, we made a personal visit and ended up having lunch with Monica Challingsworth, Bottega Louie’s Senior Director of Sales. We talked about presentation, quality, shipping, and customer service. And, of course, we tasted the chocolate. Here’s what we learned.
Shipping & Packaging
Bottega Louie’s packaging is truly gorgeous. Our samples of the Palet d’Or, Truffles, Enrobed Caramels, and Cocoa Almonds arrived in elegant light pink boxes. A 100% guarantee is stamped in small, gold print along with the brand on each box. The one exception to the pink and gold color scheme is the Cocoa Almonds, which arrived in a light green box secured with a plastic sleeve. The only slight downside was the way the cocoa powder coating on the almonds worked its way outside the main container to make a bit of a messy opening experience.
Concerned about shipping chocolates in the heat of summer? If you shop with Bottega Louie, you don’t have to be. It was over 100 degrees on the day our shipment was expected to arrive. We were concerned for the safety and integrity of the chocolate, but Bottega Louie was one step ahead. They’d tucked an ice pack in with our shipment to help keep our treats from melting.
Now for the important part: the taste testing!
Bottega Louie offers a peek into the world of truly fine chocolates. From the rich hazelnut to the reviving orange, the ganache filling in the Palet d’Or fairly melts in the mouth with exquisite texture.
The powdered coating on each of the Truffles allows for an added texture before the truffle filling begins to fill your mouth with flavor. Also, we feel the Assorted Truffles is one of the items with greatest value, as each box includes a larger quantity of individual pieces.
The Enrobed Caramels are almost too pretty to eat! Sampling from the assorted selection, it’s impossible not to enjoy the surprise in flavor. Each caramel taken from the carefully packed box comes with a little unexpected burst of joy.
Finally, the Cocoa Almonds, dusted in a dark, Valrhona cocoa powder over a casing of dark chocolate, are a special treat. As noted earlier, the packaging can be a bit messy and we would not recommend snacking on these when you require the use of your hands. Each almond starts with a shock of bitter (yet still slightly sweet) cocoa powder. But, upon biting down, you’ll be reminded of enjoying a warm brownie, fresh from the oven.
The verdict? If you’re looking for beautifully packaged, high-quality chocolates you can feel confident shipping cross-country even in the middle of August, Bottega Louie is your patisserie.
Individual gifts from Bottega Louie can range from $15 to $250. Learn more about Bottega Louie’s offering by visiting their online shop. To place corporate gift orders, you can reach out directly to Monica Challingsworth. Don’t forget to mention that you heard about them from OfficeNinjas!
Which Bottega Louie confection would you like to try?