My husband and I passed this place after a long day walking around New York City. We were worn out, and the sign saying, “Wine & Chocolate Bar” was way too tempting to pass up. With chocolate and wine on the brain, our side excursion to AYZA was one of my favorite parts of the trip.
This cozy, Mediterranean-style bar seated only a small crowd, but the dimly-lit interior and quaint patio made for a romantic date. We were immediately whisked to a high table and given a sample of their hot wine, a fruity but savory cup that warmed you up from the cold New York weather.
We pored over the wine menu that offered more than 90 different selections, and I ordered a prosciutto and parmesan panini with a fresh side salad. While the sandwich was delicious, I chose something lighter to save room for the selection of artisanal chocolates and other sweet treats.
I started off with a sampling of Jacques Torres chocolates, the white chocolate-lime ganache “Love Bug,” two dark chocolate squares and the “Almondine,” another dark chocolate square with candied almonds. I recommend getting two of each if you want to share, because I could’ve scarfed down the entire plate.
But the chocolate craving didn’t stop there – next we ordered a chocolate molten lava cake with strawberry sauce and vanilla ice cream that was to die for. Getting a spoonful of all three components at once was the way to go. I nearly licked the plate clean.
While we waited for the check, the waitress dropped off a plate of unsuspecting-looking pretzels for us to snack on. But these little babies packed a punch. The chocolate had a hint of spicy pepper that woke up your taste buds. I ate three and had to down my glass of cucumber water before I blew fire. But it was worth it.
On the way out, we realized that the upbeat, soulful music that had been playing came from a live duo on the patio. The impromptu concert was the perfect way to end our last delicious night in New York.