Artisan Confections (AC) is one of those places I felt like I knew even though I'd never been there. So much great stuff here on dr.com between all the fab reviews, the owner's engagement with the community (love that!), the events held in the past and, of course, the recent expansion of the business to a second store out by Merrifield.
Earlier this week, I finally made it to AC. I was able to stop by the Arlington store. While bummed Jason wasn't there so didn't get a chance to meet him, the women working were great (though incredibly they did not recognize the donrockwell name at all--que horror!
). The shop and chocolates are all beautiful; almost like a museum. Plenty of space to browse with a fairly open production area in the back and immaculately maintained glass cases displaying a relatively small number of chocolates.
There's a simplicity and elegance to AC in how most of the space is open and you're not overwhelmed by 1000 skus in all directions. This intensifies focus on the product, a relatively small number of choices and upon the seriousness with which everything is crafted balancing design/art and flavor. If AC was a smartphone, clearly it'd be an iphone and not a blackberry; very bauhausian. Steve Jobs would approve.
I bought a single sea salt caramel, one of my normal benchmarks in a first visit. A perfectly symmetrical dark chocolate orb with the most elegant and wispy patina of butter yellow atop the truffle. And...delicious. So refined and rich, befitting the focus on exceptional ingredients I know is at the shop's core.
Then got a bag of simple 70% coins for someone who likes chocolate more for health reasons than, well, other reasons. Her eyebrows rose when she tried a first one.
Finally, a box of chocolate covered buttery rich toffee. Mmmmm.
Hopefully one of these days I'll be able to make a class/event if done again for dr.com. What a great shop for holiday time (or anytime)!