Valentine's Day is just around the corner, but it's not too late to wow your loved one with something sweet. Chocolate may seem like a pedestrian gift, but as I've written in the past, San Francisco is home to some of the most refined and remarkable chocolatiers and confectioners around. And no, I'm not talking about Ghirardelli.
As friend and fellow blogger Billy Kolber-Stuart notes, French chocolatier RICHART makes some of the most exquisite creations around. Personally, I love their Petits RICHART collection, delicate bite-sized truffles categorized in seven flavor groupings -- balsamic, citrus, floral, fruity, herbal, roasted and spiced -- with seven flavors per. Each truffle is decorated with a unique pattern to distinguish it. Tho not every flavor succeeds equally, many are surprisingly good; I particularly liked the herbal and floral flavors.
But for my money -- and money is of the essence when shopping at Richart -- I prefer one local artisan above all others. Recchiuti Confections makes truffles with inspired flavor combinations, albeit perhaps not as fastidiously organized as Richart's. Each piece is a work of art, some screened with patterns in the Richart idiom, others more free-form. My favorites include Star Anise and Pink Peppercorn; Pearl Mint Tea; and Burnt Caramel, which you can buy by the jarful (and eat by the spoonful).
Since I wrote that story, a few newcomers have entered the scene. I guess I'll have to pick up my research where I left it off. It's hard work, but someone's got to do it.
393 Sutter St
Ferry Building, shop #30