100 W. Higgins Road, Suite E5, South Barrington, IL 60010
When I mentioned to a friend that I would be going to Anna Shea for my next blog post, she replied, “I’ve been there several times.” Well, I’ve been going there since 2004.
During construction before it opened.
Of course, nothing was served then but tidbits of information about what they would be offering and when it would open.
Handcrafted artisan chocolate. And not soon enough.
Fast forward to many chocolates later when my friends Roy and Adele would experience their first visit to Anna Shea with Lisa and me. Over the years I watched the menu expand to include: cupcakes, gelato, coffee, wine, martinis, beer, crostini and fondue. What would we indulge?
Scroll down to see more photos and read more about Anna Shea Chocolates & Lounge.
“The toffee is nestled between blankets of layered milk chocolate.”
My friend Roy wanted to try the toffee milk chocolate. So, I was looking at him looking at two mellow slabs of perfection. This was too much! I wanted to chew my hand. Roy took a bite—more like a chomp—but he was careful to taste, when he managed to clear enough room to breathe and sing, “The toffee is nestled between blankets of layered milk chocolate.” He was practically floating.
The four of us were seated at a table where we awaited our choice refreshments to be served to us. Who knew that the wait would be brief but the agony would seem interminable? Roy, having been served first, gave everyone the hunger shakes.
“The Chanel Cupcake is rich and delicious with the perfect amount of sweetness between the frosting and cake.”
My friend Adele was served next with her Moroccan mint tea and a Chanel Cupcake. This woman knows how to live. Around the table friends were served and smiles marked the occasion. Also, a lot of talking while eating. In between bites, Adele was moved to say, “The Chanel Cupcake is rich and delicious with the perfect amount of sweetness between the frosting and cake.”
Just look at the photos and captions below, and tell me that you’re not shaking with hunger.
“The caramel latte tastes buttery with a charred flavor that is warming and not too sweet.”
Lisa was next to try her combination of caramel latte and Bring Home The Bacon bar. This bacon was not going home. I had to take pictures fast and ask questions pronto. About the caramel latte, Lisa took a sip and was impressed, “The caramel latte tastes buttery with a charred flavor that is warming and not too sweet.” For someone who always professed to not like sweets, there was a lot of like and a fair amount of sweet, notably paired with bacon.
“This is a sweet and salty experience between rich, creamy chocolate and tender bacon.”
The Bring Home The Bacon bar looked good—even to me—whose diet does not include bacon. It could have been the creamy milk chocolate or the drizzle of velvety dark chocolate, but this bar was sort of calling me(!). Lisa took her first bite. We waited. She leaned forward and shared, “This is a sweet and salty experience between rich, creamy chocolate and tender bacon.” And then it was gone.
For a year or two or three—who’s counting?—I had heard of this mythical “affogato.” I knew what it was but I did not know what it would come to mean to me. This begged the question:
Question: Espresso or Gelato? Answer: YES!
My affogato was a few years in the making; not literally but things got in the way. Nothing will get in the way again.
I was served an affogato in a beautiful white cup decorated with gold lattice and mated with a spoon. This was a new experience. Usually coffee spoons were meant for stirring. But this was not a coffee spoon. And this was not coffee.
“The affogato perfectly blends bold espresso with creamy vanilla gelato.”
Oh, my friends. My only complaint was that there was not much more. This was a European-style coffee dessert treat, so portion size was going to be something that could not be Big Gulped or Supersized. For once I had to agree. Like all simple luxuries, this was meant to be savored and enjoyed slowly. My affogato was perfectly sized and crafted. The taste was sublime. I thought, “The affogato perfectly blends bold espresso with creamy vanilla gelato.” I was glad that I don’t live next door to Anna Shea Chocolates & Lounge. I was also sad.
Of course I will definitely revisit Anna Shea Chocolates & Lounge. I have been doing so since 2004. The affogato might accelerate things. Just a touch. There’s a reason why it’s called the accelerator. Why not step on yours and accelerate things? Just a touch.
You can find Anna Shea Chocolates & Lounge at 100 W. Higgins Road, Suite E5, South Barrington, IL 60010. The website for Anna Shea is Anna Shea Chocolates & Lounge
To see more photos, visit my Adobe Spark photoblog at Adobe Spark – Anna Shea Chocolates & Lounge