In D.U.M.B.O. you can still see some streets with the old cobblestone that once paved all of New York's streets.
Look at the rents for some of the luxury apartments in D.U.M.B.O. here!
Jacques Torres' original chocolate cafe and retail store and factory is located at 66 Water Street, Brooklyn, NY in the DUMBO neighborhood.
Jacques has an extensive curriculum vitae as a pastry chef and chocolatier, which can be read on his website -- here are a few excerpts:
" Jacques Torres grew up in Bandol, France, a small town in the southern region of Provence.
In 1986, Jacques was awarded with the prestigious M.O.F. medal, the youngest chef to earn the distinction.
Jacques has served presidents, kings, and celebrities in his every day work at Le Cirque. He has also enjoyed many honors and awards, judged competitions and participated in culinary events. He has generously donated his time to many national charity organizations.
He serves as Dean of Pastry Studies at New York's French Culinary Institute. He has also opened his pastry kitchen at Le Cirque to aspiring students and shared his passion for the art of pastry. He is dedicated to providing a training ground for the future professionals of the field works diligently to further the causes of his profession.
He frequently makes television guest appearances on NBC's Today Show and Later Today, various shows on TV Food Network, and public television programs."
Here is a platter of his famous chocolate chip cookie whose recipe recently caused quite a happy stir when it was printed in the New York Times "Dining and Wine" section.
Mr. Torres makes all his own chocolate from imported beans . There are many interesting facts about chocolate in general on this portion of his website, and also some informative videos at the same link where he displays his factory, the making of chocolate, and demonstrates making holiday treats.
There is a small factory right next to this store, and it is visible through large windows from inside the store and from the street level. The DUMBO store was Mr. Torres first factory and store, but he's since opened an even larger one in Manhattan, at 350 Hudson at King Street.
At that beautiful location in Hudson Square, Jacques makes chocolate from the beans, and visitors can watch the entire process from inside that retail store, as it is completely enveloped in glass. There, Jacques uses vintage equipment that has been painstakingly restored.
Also, a brand new Jacques Torres cafe and retail shop recently opened on the upper west side of Manhattan, at 285 Amsterdam Avenue between West 73rd and 74th Streets, so I do believe the chocolate business has been very good for Jacques!
He still makes appearances in his Brooklyn factory from time to time, especially during the holidays to make his chocolate specialties and for special events. It is wise to check his web site for dates of his appearances. Below is a photo of some of his gift and specialty items for sale in his shop, including his heavenly hot chocolate mix, his famous chocolate chip cookie and fudge mix, truffles, Bon Bons, dark, milk and white chocolate bars, caramel sauce, hot fudge sauce, assorted chocolate covered items such as pretzels, malt bars, marshmallows, macadamia nuts, raisins, espresso beans, almonds, popcorn and even chocolate covered cheerios and corn flakes!
You can also order some of these same items online
Some customers at the counter ordering hot chocolate and some croissants or petit pain au chocolat, or perhaps a cookie or brownie? There are a few cafe tables by the window in which to sit and enjoy your treats, but they were all occupied during the time I was there and I didn't want to disturb the patrons by taking their photo.
Very tempting, but no!
I did purchased this dark chocolate "Big Daddy" bar that weighs 2.2 pounds! I needed it for a special project that I am baking. I will be displaying that on my blog on July 30th, so please come back and see my special creation then.
The doors were opened the day I was there, as apparently there was a photo shoot of the model seen here.
This 1922 carousel was purchased in 1984 in an auction by artist Jane Walentas, and she spent 22 years painstakingly restoring it to its original condition!
You can watch a wonderful segment about this carousel and the dedication of the artist who restored it, and also some general carousel history from the CBS TV Sunday Morning Show at this Youtube link. It's well worth taking the time to view if you love carousels as much as I do!
Now, back to my baking .... where did I put that Big Daddy bar?