Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Valentine's Day Dinner

Here they are, the long awaited details for our Parisian Sweetheart Valentine's Chocolate Tasting Dinner! If you patronized Eclipse this time last year, you will know that I started the Prix Fixe dinner concept with Valentine's Day and I'm proud to say that the time has come again... twelve dinners later! I guess that makes it our Second Annual.

For $65 per couple, guests will enjoy four courses of French-inspired cocoa-infused fare complete with live violin serenades. Of course we have plenty of options such as an Artisan Cheese or Charcuterie Platter and a full wine menu with course pairings. Essentially, all you need do is find a sweetheart and enjoy an immersive experience.

Here's the line-up:

Cocoa-buckwheat crepe with Wild Mushroom Ragout
French Onion Soup with White Chocolate Olive-oil Crostini
Pink Peppercorn-crusted Pork Tenderloin with Cocoa, Cherry, and Shallot Jus
Baked Fromager D'affinois with Cocoa, Cherry, and Shallot Jus
Rose Petal Creme Brulee
With the holiday falling on Saturday this year, we have opted to offer seatings on both Friday night (at 6.5 and 8.5pm) and Saturday (at 4, 6, and 8pm), but don't let that fool you into thinking we won't sell out quickly. With just 24 people per seating, last year we were taking a waiting list as early at two weeks prior to the event. You can make reservations by emailing info@eclipsechocolat.com or calling the cafe direct at 619.578.2984. Cya there!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Upcoming Chocolate Tasting Dinners

So somewhere in the past six months between buying my new Iphone, MobileMe, MacBook, and Adobe Creative Suite 4, I managed to convince myself that all I really need to stay organized and on top of my professional agendas is a collection of full-integrated tech toys. Did I say toys? Yeah... I pretty sure thats what they are. Yet, no amount of e-gadgets can seem to keep me on task with professional emails and blog posts. Oh well... at least my office looks pretty!

So it's been two weeks since my last post! Ouch! Well, all of the December holidays have passed and I can finally return to business as usual and catch up on all of the regular things that are supposed to happen on a daily basis here. But alas, it's only 45 days until Vday! Better blog while I can...

If you missed it, many a chocophile enjoyed our Creole Christmas dinner earlier this month, which happens to have been our last Five Course Chocolate Tasting Dinner. These dinners of ours are pretty big to-do for the cafe, and this past line-up was no exception. With five courses to plan and serve, I always thought that $40 a person was a great rate, but as everyone seems to be tightening their belts these days, I want to offer something a little less expensive.

"No dinners?" I hear each of you gasp! Don't fret, we haven't discontinued the series, just mixed it up a bit. With the expection of our next event: Parisian Sweetheart Dinner for Valentine's Day, all future dinners will be 3-course for only $25 a guest. Same essential details as all of the previous dinners, but with just $25 a person, we hope that more people can find the opportunity to indulge!

So what about Vday? Well since it is the high-holiday of all chocolate high-holidays, we have decided on a 4-course line-up with a live violinist for just $65 a couple. We will announce the menu in the next few days, so stay tuned. And as Vday falls on a Saturday this year, we have opted to do three seatings for Vday, and two more the day before on Friday night. Even with five seatings, we expect to sell out quickly so don't wait to contact us for reservations. Last year we did five seatings and sold out before the end of January! Don't miss out!

Until then... take a look at the pics from the last dinner:

Starter: Fried Shrimp Cakes with Capers and Remoulade Sauce

Course One: Crispy Plantains with Smoked Sernano Sea-salt and Chile-burnt Caramel Peanut Sauce

Course Two: Dirty Rice with Mixed Peppers and Cocoa-Bacon Jus.

Course Three: Smoked Tomato-Crawfish Bisque with White Chocolate-Olive Oil Crostini.

Course Four: Jambalaya with Smoked Beef-Cocoa Nib Sausage and Barley.

Course Five: Cinnamon-Sugar Beignets with Milk Chocolate-Caramel-Chicory Sauce.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Truffle, Wine, and Cheese Tasting

Our last event of the 2008 year is coming up tomorrow: an hour-long experience of exotic truffles, artisan cheeses, and mouth-watering brews. Join me at the cafe from 7-8pm and navigate through a set of four tasting trios and a discussion of the chocolate-making process and the experience of taste.

The truffles we're featuring this time are: Lavender Sea-Salted Caramel, Balsamic Pink Peppercorn, Chile-burnt Caramel, and the all new Cranberry Peppercorn!

The event is $25 per person, and seating is limited. Call to rsvp: 619.578.2984!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Dinner Update

Wow... Xmas. If any of you have come into the shop lately, you will see my trying to catch my breath. Hopefully we won't run out of anything before the holiday!

Until then, I've got a quick update on our upcoming Five Course Chocolate Tasting Dinner. Exclusively for this Saturday, we are treating our guests to five chocolate courses of Creole faire. Don't wait to make your reservations, though! Our 6pm seating is already sold out, and we've only a few tables lefts at the 4 and 8pm seatings.

Reservations can be made by contacting info@eclipsechocolat.com or calling the cafe direct at 619.578.2984. Cya there!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Little Italy Farmer's Market

Tis the season for chocolate, and we are ramping up for all sorts of special events as of late! Tomorrow, for example, we make our first forray into the San Diego farmer's market scene at the Little Italy Mercato. See us there each Saturday from 9am-1.5pm.


The Little Italy Mercato is the city market for downtown San Diego residents and visitors with more than 70 booths lining Date Street from Kettner to Union offering farm fresh produce, artisan foods and specialty items.

CERTIFIED FARMERS MARKET fruits and vegetables, herbs, flowers, eggs, cheese and more from more than a dozen certified California producers on Date Street between India and State FOOD PURVEYORS fish, bread, sauces, olives, pasta, coffee, pastry and more FLOWERS and PLANTS orchids, fresh flowers, bedding plants DINING rotisseried chicken, crepes, paninis, smoothies, Italian ices, coffee drinks and local chefs' specialties to enjoy along with the LIVE MUSIC at the Mercato. At the top of the market from State Street to Union, check out the MercARTo artisans, crafts and specialty gifts, and PET PLACE Natural pet foods and accessories, custom collars, and doggie day care at the top of Date Street near Amici Park.

Coming soon! CHEF DEMOS at the amphitheatre at Date & State.

For more Mercato information, call 619.233.3769 or mercato@littleitalysd.com

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A New Moon Crowns the Night Sky...

Have you seen the website lately? No, not this one... though I know a number of you out there don't actually get to the online storefront much. But take a look! See? There's a link in the margin just to the side of this text here... Go on... Just click on it.

I guess if you're still reading this part, you have yet to tap your mouse. But I swear, it's worth it. Ok, fine. I'll just spell it out.

We have a new website!!! With all new tongue-tantalizing photographs! And it's about time, too. The OLD site was really, really out of date. Well no more, my little cocoa-babies. It's even been equipped with a feed from the blog so people can more easily navigate between our blog and out site.

So go see it already! Cya there!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Exotic Drinking Chocolates

Even with yesterday's strange San Diego heat wave (it must have been 80 midday!), we are in full Exotic Drinking Chocolate production mode here at the cafe. Thankfully the weather seems to be finally cooling down, at least enough to enjoy a warm cup of cocoa-bliss. We even purchased a new piece of equipment to assist in making large batches of our mixes. While it doesn't seem too scary, it is officially my first piece of "machinery" mostly because it comes equipped with an emergency stop plunger. A plunger, I tell you! As if the rotating square rod that shaves the infused chocolate blocks into easily melted ribbons is going to scrape someone into oblivion. Though as I type this, I can imagine it giving me a bad rug-burn... so who's to complain about safety measures. The point of all of this is that I feel as though I have graduated to full chocolatier-adulthood with my first piece of equipment that look like actual machinery! But for those of you who find all of this industry chatter boring... no fret, sugar-babies, here's your yum yums...

Made from all premium couveture chocolate, Eclipse Exotic Drinking Chocolate Tins are here! These are the same mixes that we make all of our in-house Drinking Chocolates and Mochas at the counter, and now you can enjoy them in your own home. All you need to do is whisk our signature infusions into warmed milk. Each$8 tin comes with 5oz of shaved chocolate, enough to make three cups. Or try our Tasting Trio for just $20, which showcases all three flavors: Orange Peel Vanilla Bean (31% white), Chile-Burnt Caramel (38% milk), and Rosemary Mint (72% dark). Check it: