Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Southern Fried Christmas

Mmm... Just a quick jaunt around any mall these days reminds me that the holidays are already here! The smells of pumpkin lattes, roasted nuts, and peppermint candies are ripe around every corner and I, for one, am in full holidays cooking mode. And had you joined us for dinner at the cafe this past weekend, you would have been treated to a full holiday feast. Yes, friends... we celebrated T-day a full week and a half early this year and 95 of you joined us! If you missed all the tasty vittles, don't fret, you've got one more chance!

Join us Saturday, December 12th at 4.5, 6.5 or 8.5pm for an Xmas feast from the deep South. For just $30, you can enjoy 3 courses of seasonal faire two weeks before the big day. Make a reservation today and help us bring in the holiday with our Southern Fried Christmas dinner! Guests to enjoy:

Cheddar and Chive Biscuit Bites with Sawmill Sausage Gravy (optional starter)
Wilted Greens with Candied Cocoa Nibs
Fried Coconut Shrimp -or- Fried Green Tomatoes
with Cocoa Butter Grits, Coddled Egg, & Chile Burnt Caramel Peanut Sauce
White Chocolate Cranberry Cobbler with Vanilla Bean-Peppercorn Cream

Space is limited so RSVP today at 619.578.2984! Until then, check out the deliciousness from the last dinner:

Starter- Fried Bacon, Mac, & Cheese with Bacon Fat Drizzle

First Course- Roasted Veggies with Frisse & White Chocolate-Lemon Dressing

Entree- Rosemary & Lavender Sea Salt Crusted Cornish Game Hen with Cocoa Butter-Smashed Potatoes & Savory Bread Pudding with Cocoa-Brown Sugar Gravy.

Dessert- Ginger Pumpkin Cheesecake with Brownie Crumb Crust & Vanilla Bean Ginger Cream

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Autumn Harvest Dinner

We finished up this last weekend with one of our biggest Three Course Prix Fixe dinners yet! If you missed it... well shame on you, as I don't repeat menu items. You'll just have to live with the chocolately shame.

This last one sold out pretty fast so we added a 2.5pm seating, but that's not typical for us. We're back to 4.5, 6.5, and 8.5 seatings this time around so don't hold off to make reservations. Here's what we're cookin':
Join us Saturday, November 14th to indulge in the three courses of a chocolate-Thanksgiving feast at our Autumn Harvest Prix Fixe Dinner: Menu includes:

Fried Mac & Cheese with Smoked Bacon (0ptional appetiser)
Salade Frisee with Roasted Root Veggies and White Chocolate-Balsamic Drizzle
Rosemary and Lavender Sea-salted Roasted Cornish Game Hen
or Butternut Squash Ravioli with Brown Butter Sage Sauce
both served with
Cocoa-Brown Sugar Gravy, Cocoa Butter Smashed Potatoes, & Savory Bread Pudding
Ginger-Pumpkin Cheesecake with Dark Chocolate Brownie Crumb Crust

To make an RSVP, call the cafe at 619.578.2984. Space is limited! Until then, get your mouth watery with the pics from this past weekend. Check it:

Appetizer- German Meatballs with Creamy Dill-Shallot Creme Fraiche.

First Course- Beer Cheese Soup with White Chocolate-Dill Mustard and Black Sea-salted Soft Pretzel

Entree- Smoked Gouda Bratwurst with Cocoa-nib Infused Sauerkraut & Toasted Pumpernickle

Dessert Course- Black Forrest Torte with Beer-Soaked Cherry Ganache Filling and Burnt Caramel Beer Reduction.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Second Anniversary Party!

It's officially fall in San Diego and while that doesn't mean a degree of cooler weather like the rest of the country enjoys, it does mean we're coming into the season of holiday treats and eats. Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Xmas are very busy times around here, but before any of that can happen, we need to celebrate our Anniversary!

That's right, cocoa-babies! On October 28th we will be parting it up. Join us from 7pm-9pm on that Wednesday evening to indulge in all things Eclipse. If you've been into the cafe recently you will have noticed our new line of 8 exotic rocky roads we've coined Chocolat Rococo and we're ready to feature the lot. All evening we will be sampling all 8 flavors for you all to try.

But what's this Rococo I'm speaking of? If you were around this time two years ago, I created my first rocky road confection that was named Marshmallow Almond Rococo, which featured marcona almonds, cocoa nibs, and sea salt. It's been so popular that we've renamed it after our signature chocolate bar (Sea Salt Nib) and added 7 other flavors. Check 'em out:

Salty Dulce De Leche (31%)
Peppermint Almond (31%)
Toasted Coconut Toffee (38%)
Chile Burnt Caramel (38%)
Sea Salt Nib (55%)
Gingerbread Spice (55%)
Espresso Toffee (61%)
Citrus Honeycomb (72%)

Each is nearly a half pound of vanilla bean marshmallows, rich couveture chocolate, and a healthy slathering of exotic fixins'. For only $10 or 2 for $18.

Can it get any better? Yes! During our Anniversary Party, any guest will receive a free Rococo with any purchase of $50.

We're also extending our happy hour until 9pm, so all wine and beer purchases will come with a free truffle, as well! Cya then.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Chocolate & Beer Oktoberfest

Pictures are in from our dinner this past week, and WOW it was a good one. Obviously its my job to describe the eats at our dinners with such scintillating detail that you all can't wait to make a reservation for the next one... but I am making no over-exaggeration when I write that this was the tastiest menu yet. And at 17 dinners and counting... well that's saying a lot. If you missed it, you're outta luck; we don't repeat menus. But if you're brave enough to trust me on the next one, call us ASAP (619.578.2984) to reserve your space for October! This past dinner sold out a week before the event so don't wait.

What's for dinner? Check it:

Join us Saturday, Oktober 24th, at 4.5, 6.5 or 8.5 for three courses of savory chocolate deliciousness. And yes, I said Oktober! This time the theme is Chocolate & Beer Oktoberfest! For just $25, guests can enjoy:

Beer-Cheese Soup with Soft Pretzel & White Chocolate-Mustard Sauce
Gouda-Stuffed Bratwurst or Sweet Onion & Cheese Spatzel
both served with Baked Gouda, Cocoa Nib-Infused Sauerkraut, & Crusty Bread
Black Forrest-Dark Chocolate & Cherry Torte
Also enjoy our appetizer:
German Meatballs with Creamy Dill Sauce ($12)
and a first for us:
Three Course Beer Pairing (one beer with each course for an additional $15)

If all of this is too hard to comprehend, just take a look at the pics from our last dinner. Commence mouth-watering now:

Appetizer: Goat Cheese-Stuffed Figs Wrapped with Proscuitto

First Course: Ribollita Soup with White Chocolate Olive Oil Crostini

Entree: Rosemary-Crusted Roasted Lamb Chop or Gorganzola Aranici with Stuffed Tomato and Cocoa-Balsamic Sauce.

Dessert: Tiramisu with Burnt Caramel Espresso Sauce and Milk Chocolate Coffee Toffee

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Rustic Tuscan Dinner

Listen up, cocoababies! Our next Three Course Prix Fixe Dinner is only three weeks away! Silly old me decided to take a few days off for my bday and I forgot to post the announcement before I left. Those of you who are in the cafe often have already reserved space from seeing flyers around... but the rest of you might be a little behind. Allow me to catch you up.

Exclusively Saturday, September 19th, with seatings at 4.5, 6.5, & 8.5pm we will be hosting three enticing courses from the Italian North! Our Rustic Tuscan Dinner is as follows:

Goat Cheese-Stuffed Roasted Figs Wrapped in Prosciutto (optional starter)
Ribollita Soup with White Chocolate Olive Oil Crostini
Roasted Baby Lamb Chop or Fried Gorganzola Risotto Cake
both served with Cocoa Balsamic Sauce and Parmesan-Stuffed Tomato
Espresso Bean Tiramisu with Milk Chocolate-Toffee Crunch

Seatings are $25 per guest (plus gratiuty and tax, of course) and we plan on selling out. As always, we are holding RSVPs with a valid credit card and have a 48hr cancelation policy. Don't wait to call us or you might lose out! 619.578.2984

Until then, here's the yum-yums from last dinner:

Starter: Spinach-Articoke Dip with Cocoa-Glazed Bacon and Garlic Flatbread

First: Caprese Brulee Salad with Cheroke Heirloom Tomatos and White Chocolate Balsamic Glaze

Entree: Ricotta-Mascarpon Ravioli with Chile-Burnt Caramel Hazelnut, Sage Brown Butter Sauce, and Lemon-Vanilla Bean Fennel Salad

Dessert: White Chocolate Summer Berry Bread Pudding with Cocoa-Nib Creme Anglaise

Sunday, August 30, 2009

September Wine, Cheese, and Chocolate Threeway

Our Threeway last week was such a sexy time, we decided to push our calendar up a bit and schedule another one in two weeks. Usually these events come every month, but we sold out for the last one and with our dance card filling up so quickly, we're spreadin' the love more frequently these days.

If you have yet to check our Threeways out, I'm sure you're wondering what the heck I'm blogging out. So check it:

Main Entry: three·way
Function: noun
Definition: Threeway-A form of group se...

Opps, wrong dictionary. Let me grab the chocolate-covered one!

Threeway- A tasting event involving exploring three different gastronomic pleasures at the same seating.

Ahh! Much more appropriate, no? Well it's true, while our Threeway events make for a fun and possibily sexy evening, the focus is on enjoying and exporing nine different tastes (three artisan cheeses, three satisfying wines, and three exotic truffles). The tasting is complete with an open discussion of how our palates appreciate the process of taste and how one taste can effect and change the taste of another.

Our next event is September 16th from 7-8pm and we sell out at just 22 people! Call us for RSVPs at 619.578.2984. Cya then!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Another Threeway Coming Up!

Our sexy evening of wine, chocolate, and cheese earlier this month sold out a few days prior to the event so I've decided to schedule another one before the end of August. Normally these just come along once a month, but evidentally our chocolat libido has been high as of late, so we're gearing up for another Threeway next Wednesday, August 26th! And this one's thematic! Check it:

Join myself and informal guest star from Stone for an hour-long experience of three truffles, three cheeses, and three locally brewed beers from Stone Brewing. That's right, folks... this time we're changing it up and going all brews! Beer googles make everything happen so much smoother anyway.

All nine tastes for just $20 a head. And don't forget your 10% discount on all other chocolate purchased that evening. We're closing the event at 24 guests and we've got 14 so far to don't hesitate. Call us to make an RSVP at 619.578.2984.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Summer Eats and the Caprese Tomato Brulee

We're ripping through taking reservations for our next Prix Fixe dinner on Saturday with only one table left at our 6.5 seating. No worries for you slackers, though, there is plenty of space still left at 4.5 and 8.5. What's everyone so exited about, you ask? Well little ol' me has been doing some recipe testing and here's what's coming. Check it:

That's our Caprese Cherokee Heirloom Tomato with Brulee Crust & White Chocolate-Balsamic Drizzle. Looks amazing, no? Well it's pretty mouth watering if you ask me. But that's just the beginning of the good eats we're featuring. Take a look at the whole dinner line-up here.

Don't forget to place your reservations in time! As always, we hold tables with a credit card and have a 48 hour cancelation policy. Call the cafe direct for more info: 619.578.2984

Saturday, August 8, 2009

August Summer Harvest Dinner

Its that time of already... temperatures are rising, beaches are calling, and the heirloom vegetables of Southern California are ripe for the picking. What's a chocolatier to do? Sounds like a lovely time for a Chocolate Tasting Dinner!

With Luigi's Pizzaria open next to the cafe now, there are a lot of new folks around here these days. For you faithful bloggers out there forgive me for sounding like a broken record, but I think I can hear at least one tiny voice in the back of the crowd feably asking, "What's a Chocolate Tasting Dinner?"

For just $25 bucks a person (tip and tax extra, of course), cafe patrons with the proper RSVPs can come and enjoy a three course dinner. But not just any old prix fixe... no, no, no... surely you all know me better than that by now! At our dinners, each course features a chocolate or caramel component! I know a few of you are thinking this is strange, but with this being our 16th multi-course dinner, some of my friends are insisting that that makes me America's foremost authority of chocolate savory food. Well, I doubt that, but I've certainly seen a lot of interesting cocoa-laden concoctions by now.

So what's up next? With summer in full swing, I can't help myself but exploit all it has to offer. Join us for our next dinner, Summer Harvest, on Saturday August 22nd. Check it out:

Spinach and Articoke Dip with Cocoa-glazed bacon & flatbread (optional starter)

Caprese Salad with Brulee Crust of Heirloom Tomato, Fresh Mozzarella, Basil, & White Chocolate-Balsamic Drizzle

Ricotta-Parmesan Ravioli & Sage Brown Butter Sauce with Shaved Fennel Bulb and Chile-Burnt Caramel Hazelnut

Summer Berry Bread Pudding of Raspberry & Blackberry with Cocoa Nib-Infused Creme Anglaise

We have seatings at 4.5, 6.5, and 8.5 and as always, space is limited for our dinners. For reservations, call 619.578.2984!
Until then, take a look at what we featured last month, with pictures courtesy of our friends at Kaleb Scott Photographs.
Steamed Mussels with Crispy Salumi and Herbs
Roasted Corn and Potato Chowder with Shrimp Demilgaze and Cocoa-glazed Bacon
Fried Crabcake with Poached Egg, Hasty Pudding, and Chile-burnt Caramel Hollendaise

Caramel Apple Pie with Vermont Cheddar and White Chocolate Semifreddo

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Truffle, Wine, and Cheese Threeway

Back in June, myself and my sexy staff here at Eclipse expanded the defintions and terms of our employments and indulged in a Threeway. Much fun was had by all, bellies were filled, and everyone walked away a bit tipsy. Wait.. what?... get your mind out of the gutter! No... of course not! We hosted a Threeway Tasting of truffles, cheeses, and wines.

Ok, ok... eyes up here, folks. Are you with me now? Good...

If you missed it, you missed out. Luckly for you we're doing a repeat performance next Wednesday, August 5th from 7-8pm. For just $20, guests will enjoy three lovely cheeses paired with three tasty drinks paired with three exotic truffles. The whole experience is an hour-long guided tasting and discussion on the anatomy and construction of chocolate complete with my undivided attention. What more could you ask for?

Still confused? Take a look at the food porn shot below showing one of the Threeways at our next tasting: Maui Brewing Coconut Porter with Double Coconut Caramel Truffle with Cahill Porter Cheese.

Yes, I know this is a beer, but its delicious and unusual... and as such is everything I hold near and dear to my little foodie heart.

Space is limited to just 24 people, and we've already got 16 RSVPs so call us already to save your space: 619.578.2984

Thursday, July 16, 2009

New England Seafood Dinner

With summer in full swing, we've decided that it's high time to celebrate with a feast of delectable seafood, so the theme for our next dinner is New England cuisine. And the thing that comes to mind first when I consider all the tasty vittles from the North Atlantic Coast is the delectable crab cake.

Ah... crab cakes. One of my personal favorite meals. There's just something deliciously enticing about the subtle oceanic tones of crab meat: buttery and rich with a hint of the sea. Plus they're also pan-fried in butter and when has that ever gone wrong?

It's actually been quite some time since our last dinner (four weeks already!), and there are a few minor changes to the upcoming menu since I first announced it weeks ago. All improvements, of course. Take a look:

Exclusively for Saturday, July 25th, with seatings at 4, 6, and 8pm, for just $25 our guests will enjoy:

Roasted Corn & Sweet Onion Chowder with Cocoa-glazed Bacon

Pan-fried Crab Cakes (or Roasted Vegi & Quinoa Cakes) over Mixed Greens with Poached Egg and Chile-burnt Caramel Hollendaise
served with Herbed Hasty Pudding

Chile-Burnt Caramel & Apple Pocket Pie with White Chocolate Semifreddo

We will also feature:

Steamed Mussels with Crispy Salumi and Herbs (optional starter for just $12)
Call ahead to RSVP as space is limited! 619.578.2984

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sea Salt Nib Icecream Sammies and the New Dessert Tasting Platter.

Look at it. You know you can't resist the siren call of the Sea-salt Nib. You want it in your mouth. It's ok. It can be our secret. I won't tell anyone...

"Sea Salt Nib???" I see you all looking around. "All I see is a deliciously amazing ice cream cookie sandwich". To which I respond: Can't it be both? You are, in fact, looking at the first Sea-Salt Nib Ice Cream Sandwich complete with chewy Cyprus sea salt and cocoa nib-flecked cookies between a gooey layer of banana-brown sugar gelato. And it's all part of the current Seasonal Dessert Tasting Platter.

But that's not the only exciting addition around here. After all, it is getting hot outside. The temps here in Sunny San Diego have been climbing for a few weeks and what's more refreshing than a frozen treat to cool the palate? Well wait no more cocoa-kiddies, I've got brand new temptations for everyone.

If you've been to the cafe recently, you will have noticed a change in our Dessert Tasting Platter. I know its a shocker, but Will Gustwiller, owner of Eclipse Chocolat and over opinionated/stubborn chocolatier extradinaire, has finally given in to popular demand. Previously, our platters have been oriented to be "collections" of four little desserts perfectly sized for two to share with each collection changing every eight weeks to reflect seasonal ingredients, but the continued interest in making substitutions and omissions has finally worn away at my cold, chocolate-dipped heart. Take a look now!

Wha... what's this? Is it the Apocalypse already? I haven't even BEGUN my Bucket List! Are those SIX offerings on the dessert platter sign?
Yes, tis true. From here on out, guests enjoying our dessert platter experience will have their choice of four of the six available desserts. Love our bread puddings? Well get a whole platter of them; we've got at least two different flavors at a time! Or double-up (or triple or more!) on your favorite item. There's more where those came from... and it'll be the tastiest Apocalypse ever.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Extravaganza Results!

So I got a Facebook message from a long-term client and thus friend telling me of a prophetic dream she had last Friday. She dreamt that she had won the Extravaganza raffle and was so excited about the experience that she rushed to the cafe within hours to purchase two boxes of cupcakes and thus two possibilities to win the grand prize. Hours earlier to her message, I had drawn the two winners so I was charmed to hear of her unsual psychic talent of fortune telling. Call it what you will, but Victoria Olson will be eatting lots and lots of cupcakes this summer. 72 free ones throughout the course of the summer to be exact!

Christine Speidel, if you're out there reading this, your name was drawn, too! I suppose I will have to email you directly since as of yet I have had no indications that you are similarly endowed with the powers of precognition.

I'm still waiting to hear from the instant winners, so if you found one of those medallions in your cupcake make sure to email us! In total, 65 people entered the raffle.

All in all, the Cupcake Extravaganza went off fantastically thanks to my fantastic barista staff and the incredible Autumn-Cupcake Mamma-Teemsma. Besides you folks buying out flavors fasters than we could refill them, everyone seemed to be quite content with the selection, too!

If you missed it, we will continue to rotate all 28 flavors daily, featuring 8 or more cupcakes each day until they sell out. Also, don't forget that any cupcake flavor can be made into a Full-Sized Cake that serves 12-15. Orders require 48 hours notice and are $60.

Monday, June 29, 2009

New England Seafood Dinner

Our July dinner has been announced and mouths are watering! I've chosen a seafood theme in honor of the sunny weather and salty ocean breezes before us (albeit the opposite coast!). Regardless, this upcoming entree is a personal forte of mine so don't miss out! Take a look at the three courses we're serving:

Roasted Corn Chowder with Cocoa-Glazed Bacon
Pan-Fried Crab Cakes with White Chocolate Blood Orange Drizzle & Mixed Greens
Chile-Burnt Caramel Apple Pie with Vermont Cheddar Cheese

We're also featuring some tasty vittles as our optional starter:

Steamed Mussels with Crispy Salumi and Herbs

The dinner date is set for Saturday, July 25th, with seatings at 4, 6, and 8pm. And all three courses are just $25 per person. As always, space is limited so RSVP to 619.578.2984 to claim your table before its gone. Until then, take a gander at the pics from last month:

Starter: Tangy Chicken Wings with Dipping Sauce Trio (Tarragon Honey Mustard, Balsamic Blue Cheese,  Chile Burnt Caramel Peanut Sauce)

First Course: Chile-roasted Corn on the Cobb with Cocoa Nib-Infused Butter

Main Course: Chocolate-Caramel Cheeseburger with Cocoa-Glazed Bacon and Caramel Gjetost Cheese

Dessert: Cherry Vanilla Bean Buckle with White Chocolate Biscuit Topping and Frozen Semifreddo

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cupcake Extravaganza Update!

Its just over a week before our Second Annual Cupcake Extravaganza Weekend and I've got some exciting updates to share! Tuck in cocoa-kiddies and listen up...

First off, remember that Eclipse Chocolat VIP Pass I mentioned? You know, the one that grants the holder a free Box of Nine Cupcakes each week for two months (over a $200 value)? The one that you can get by being the lucky winner of an Eclipse Chocolat Golden Ticket? Yeah that one! Well we've decided to double the prizes this year and give out FOUR!

In case you missed it previously, the Cupcake Extravaganza Weekend is July 3rd, 4th, and 5th and we will be featuring 28 exotic flavors of cupcakes. All cupcakes are Buy 2 Get 1 Free, and a Box of Nine is discounted to just $20 (normally $27). Nine cupcakes, eh? I hear you say... perfect for 4th of July picnics and bar-b-ques, no?

Well it gets better, because every Box of Nine purchased is a raffle entry to win the Eclipse VIP Pass, which two lucky people will win. Even better, two lucky cupcakes will contain a Golden Medallion tucked under the cupcake lining that will be instant winners for two more passes! That's four passes altogether and if you're doing the math, $800 dollars in fabulous cupcake prizes!

So what are the upcoming flavors for these cakes in a cup? Some are are old standards, some are returning by popular demand from last year, and some are brand new! Comin' at ya is the complete list. Check it:

Yellow Cake:
Marshmallow Almond
Toasted Barley and Ale
Ginger Green Tea
Banana Cinnamon
Crispy Bacon Caramel
Maple Pecan
Chile Hazelnut
Macadamia Lemon
Peanut Butter and Jelly
Banana Rum Cigar
Salty Peanut Butter Toffee
Honey Saffron
Coconut Curry
Kentucky Bourbon Caramel

Chocolate Cake:
Berry Merlot
Basil Absinthe
Double Espresso
Boysenberry Pink Peppercorn
Strawberry Rhubarb
Salty Smores
Muscavado Caramel
Lavender Vanilla Bean
Sea Salted Caramel
Peanut Butter and Banana
Bergamot Orange Peel
Goat Cheese and Fig
Toasted Coconut Caramel
Burnt Caramel Marshmallow

Monday, June 15, 2009

Second Annual Cupcake Extravaganza Weekend

The Fourth of July is nearly here, and with less than three weeks before the big holiday weekend Autumn, Dan, myself, and the rest of the Cocoa Babies here are gearing up! For what, you ask? Well its our Second Annual Cupcake Extravaganza Weekend! Yay!!!

If you were being held captive this time last year by anti chocolate and/or cupcake terrorists, then you may not have heard about our event. Otherwise, I'm sure you made it. Yes? But for the benefit of everyone who might be reading this, here goes:

Fourth of July Weekend (Friday-Sunday) join us at the cafe for 28 different flavors of Crème Fraîche Cupcakes (as our normal selection of 16 rotates with 6 flavors daily, this is quite a feat!). Better yet, all cupcakes are priced to move! So take them to your picnics, parties, and pro chocolate and/or cupcake capitalist rallies at just $20 for a Box of Nine (normally $27) or Buy One Get One Free!

Can it get any better? Yes!

Here you can see our Box of Nine Crème Fraîche Cupcakes, accompanied with the two VIP Eclipse Passes, which if you were around for last year's event you know are good for a Box of Nine every week for two months! How does one receive such a pleasure? Well by winning the Extravaganza Weekend Raffle, of course (each Box of Nine is an entry). But why bother with entries into a lottery when you can win the fast way? One lucky patron that weekend will receive the Golden EC Medallion. That's the pretty little token in the cupcake liner shown above. That person will ALSO win the VIP Eclipse Pass. Who needs a golden ticket when you can have a medallion (insert inevitable Willy Wonka joke here, I've heard 'em all!).

Later this week I will post all of the new exciting flavors (we have 8 new ones and 8 returning from last year) so stay tuned. In the mean time, begin salivating.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

200 Posts and a Free Tee-Shirt!

Wow. Just weeks before the blog turns two years old and I'm at my 200th post! Fun!

And what good timing for a fun promotional? Autumn, Wyatt, Nicole, Jess, and the rest of the bunch here have been rackin' our cocoa-clogged brains in attempts to come up with a fun Eclipse-branded tee shirt as our new cafe uniform... but alas, we're all outta ideas. So, we're asking for help.

Drop us a reply here with your idea for a funny, interesting, or inspirational Eclipse-related phrase for the front of our new chocolate-brown tees. The backs will, of course, feature the EC logo. Tees will be available in the cafe for anyone interested in sharing in the chocolate-covered goodness. Literally... they are chocolate-colored tees, but each will come with a small chocolate bar ($3 value) and priced at just $12! That's a $9 tee-shirt for anyone whose not inclined to do simple math.

Best yet, our favorite three suggestions here will receive a free shirt! So hurry up and get your brains workin'. The contest will close on Friday, June 12th.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Mom's Day Pics

Still catching up on blog posts from Mom's Day! My chocolate-dipped job is never done. With the next dinner coming up in a few weeks, it's about time to tempt you all with pics from our last special event.  Take a look at the cocoa-crazy vittles we all enjoyed:

Starter: Farmhouse Meats Platter- Cocoa-glazed Duroc Bacon, Chile-Maple Sausage, and Cocoa Nib-Sage Sausage

First Course: Buttermilk & Chive Biscuit with Cocoa Nib-Infused Butter

Second Course: Grilled Pineapple and Tropical Fruit Salad with Milk Chocolate-Curry Glaze

Entree: Quail Eggs in a Basket with Chile-Burnt Caramel Hollandaise and Vanilla-dressed Frisee

Dessert: Azteca Cinnamon Rolls with Burnt Caramel White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Chocolate-Caramel Cheeseburger

I enjoy being a chocolatier. It's fun, sexy, and although I take a shower first thing when I get home to wash the aroma of chocolate from my body, I've yet to tire of making chocolate. I have to say though... the oddest thing of this profession is the regular attitude that I don't live the type of life that a normal person does. I still wake up each morning to distastefully hit the snooze button before pulling myself out of bed and into work. Same as you, no? But somehow a lot of people associate this "glamorous" career more closely to celebrity than not. I assure you that my life is pretty normal.

Then again... maybe not. When Ray goes into work carrying his little Gladware container filled with a dinner that he and I enjoyed the previous evening, he is inevitably swarmed by those "hens" of workplace asking in jelously facitious voices: "What did YOU eat for dinner?". So yes, if there is one way in which my life is more exciting than the average it would be in the realm of what I eat for dinner. Especially with an exotic chocolate-dinner at the cafe each month each demanding it's own , I end up eatting a lot of fantastically crazy food.

So I guess this is where all the glamour lies, no? While you are enjoying your Memorial Day bar-b-qued goodies, take a moment to sneak a peak as to what we are enjoying: The Chocolate Caramel Cheeseburger! Go on... take a look:

What's that monstrocity you ask???? Well it begins with an all beef hamburger set upon pan-toasted Squaw Bread (think whole-grain Pumpernickle), is accompanied with Tarragon Honey Mustard and fresh butter lettuce and tomato, and ends topped with our famous Chocolate-glazed Bacon and warm Gjetost cheese (a caramelized goat whey from Norway!). It's pretty much everything you want a juicy hamburger to be but have been too afraid to ask! And you can enjoy it, too. Take a look at our upcoming June dinner:

For just $25 per person, each guest can attend our Exotic Chocolate Bar-B-Que on Saturday June 20th. We have seatings at 11am, 1, 4, 6, and 8pm, but we still expect it to sell out, so call the cafe ASAP to RSVP! Here's what you will be eatting:

Chile-Roasted Corn on the Cobb with Cocoa-Nib Infused Butter

Chocolate Caramel Cheeseburger with Cocoa-glazed Bacon and Gjetost Cheese, Served with Rosemary Potato Wedges

Cherry Vanilla Bean Buckle with White Chocolate Biscuit Topping and Vanilla Gelato

For our veggie friends we are offering a Gjetost, Tomato, and Tarragon Honey Mustard Panini in lieu of the burger!

There's also an optional start of:

Tangy Buffalo Wing with Dipping Sauce Trio (Tarragon Honey Mustard, Blue Cheese Balsamic, and Chile Burnt Caramel!)

Hope to see all you gluttons there!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Memorial Day with Eclipse!

It wasn't until yesterday that I actually realized that Monday is Memorial Day already. Where does the time go? I suppose those of us who don't get the holiday off didn't really have reason to mark our calendar's with a big red circle labeled "no work Monday!!!". Oh well...

But for those of you lucky enough to take a moment to celebrate our national heritage and the brave individuals who have given thier lives for the noble cause of this American Life, find a moment in your day to stop by for a tasty treat. Chocolate's pretty American, no? And cherry pie? How's that sound? Well as I don't bake cherry pies, you'll just have to settle on a Cherry-Vanilla Bean truffle.

While supplies last, take a break from the rest of your inevitable shopping errands during this upcoming holiday and visit us for a free cherry truffle. We're open just like normal, from 9am-10pm!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Truffle, Wine, and Cheese Tasting for June

Another chocolate-covered event comin' at ya for the month of June! Join me on June 3rd from 7-8pm for a chocolate, wine, and cheese spectacular and treat your taste buds to nine lovely bites. Featuring three Three-way Pairings, this event sells out at 20 people, so don't wait to place an RSVP.

"But what's a Three-way?", I hear some of you ask with embarrassed looks on your faces! It's a trio of tastes, each complete with an artisan cheese, exotic chocolate, and lovely wine, of course. Each Three-way is designed to highlight the unusual and exotic flavors found in artisan foods and typically follows a theme. Last Tasting I featured a Three-way of lavender and everyone did cartwheels over the Lavender Sea-salted Caramel, Lavender-Anise Goat Cheese, and... yes, you guessed it, a wine that featured lavender undertones.

And all of this for just $20! When has a sexy evening been so cheap??? So call the cafe and get us an RSVP and join us for our next Three-way experience! 618.578.2984

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Oaxacan Dinner Pics

Mother's Day is my least favorite chocolate holiday, but as it is pretty much the last of the "Big Four", I am always happy to see it come and go. Between Xmas, Valentine's, Easter, and Mom's, my life is pretty hectic between Winter and Spring. But now that that's all behind me, I can get back to being all chatty about what's coming up around the cafe. After all, I'm pretty behind on this blog.

Speaking, six weeks ago we had a yummy-yum-yum Oaxacan-themed dinner and I haven't even showed you all the vittles yet! Take a look:

Starter: Grilled Shrimp and Corn Quesadillas with Smoked Serano Sea Salt Guacamole

First: Huevos Oaxaquenos with Smoked Tomato Bisque and White Chocolate Crema

Entree: Slow Cooked Chicken in Mole Negro with Sweet Corn Tamale

Dessert: Oaxacan Mocha Cake with Chile Burnt Caramel Sauce and Honeyed Crema

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Chocolate-glazed Duroc Bacon

Those of you that were friends of Eclipse this time last might remember a little thing we served for a specialty brunch once a upon a time: Chocolate-Glazed Duroc Bacon. Well its that time of year again, and I can already hear the sizzle in the oven.

Especially made for Eclipse by loca
l Knight Salumi, this very special bacon is heavily smoked from prime Duroc hogs, slathered in a house-made concoction featuring our extra brute cocoa power, and oven roasted until is caramelized just right. It's everything you want an extravagant food to be but are too afraid to admit to. Seriously. Don't miss it.

Oh but you will if you miss our next dinner!!! Here's the optional Starter Plate for our chocolate-themed brunch this weekend. And since we've got seatings on both Saturday AND Sunday... well lets just say that you might want to come twice just for this one. Check it:

For $12 guests can enjoy our Breakfast Meats Platter featuring:

Cocoa-glazed Duroc Bacon
Cocoa nib and Sage Sausage Patties
Chile-Maple Sausage Link

It's swine heaven. Nuf' said.

For a full menu, see here. Call the cafe direct for reservations, 619.578.2984

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Southern California Events (With Free Samples!)

If you live in San Diego you're a lucky person. Sure, sure, the sun is nearly always shining, but I'm talking about your proximity to the Eclipse Cafe, of course! And if you live in Southern California at large, surely you can find my product line somewhere near you... especially since we've got about three dozen retail clients from here to San Fran.

But for those of you in SD and LA this weekend is for you! I've got two free events comin' up and both are featuring free vittles. Check it:

Join us at the Eclipse Cafe this Friday night as we feature local artist Andrea Averbuj and her new body of paintings. But as this is a food blog and not an art blog, I suppose your eyes stopped right at "free vittles", you hungry little bastards. Well its true... we will be debuting two BRAND NEW Eclipse Drinking Chocolates: 55% Lavender Sea-salt Caramel (of course!) and 85% Cinnamon Masala. Join us from 7-9pm and grab a sample cup... this ones on us.

And if you're in the Los Angeles area this weekend, join me at Surfas, restaurant supply and foodie depot extraordinaire! I will be doing a free cooking class from 3-4pm and showing the visitors whats all the fuss about artisan sea-salts and chocolates. And yes, you will get to eat the things I'm cookin' up. Located in Culver City at the corner of W. Washington and National. Here's a map and their website.

See you all soon!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Mother's Day Brunch

We've had a record number of reservations for the upcoming Prix Fixe Chocolate Tasting Dinner this time around and two of the three seatings were sold out even before we sent info to the mailing list. We've added two seatings for Friday night, but even still, few chairs remain. If interested, please call the cafe direct!

So I'm hoping to get a bit of a head start for Mom's Day! If you joined us last year, you would have indulged in a tasty set of chocolate-themed brunch platings finished with our famous Azteca Cinnamon Rolls as a finale. We've decided to repeat the concept this year with a few changes with which I'm sure everyone will be excited!

Here it is first, folks! Begin salivating now!

Exclusively for Saturday, May 9th at 10, 12, & 2pm AND Sunday, May 10th at 9.5, 11.5, and 1.5pm join us for our Mother's Day Chocolate Brunch! While we don't have a children's menu, we have added a kid-friendly option for the entree. Check it:

For $30 a chair, guests will enjoy:

Buttermilk-Chive Biscuits with Cocoa Nib-Infused Butter
Grilled Pineapple & Mango Salad with Milk Chocolate-Masala Glaze
Quail Eggs in a Hole with Dressed Frissee and Chile-Burnt Caramel Hollendaise
Buttermilk & Chocolate Chip Waffle with Honey-Creme Fraiche & Maple Syrup
Azteca Cinnamon Roll with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

We've already begun to take reservations, so don't wait to call us for a seat! 619.578.2984

Monday, April 6, 2009

Chocolate Bread Pudding To Go!

A friend recently told me that it would take three solid years before a retail storefront such as mine would have all the kinks worked out and have solid clientele base. At first I thought that sounded crazy. I wondered to myself, why should it ever take that long? Those of you who know me personally might consider me the busiest busy-body around, and I am always rushing to have things done quickly. Three years? That's crazy! I wanted to have all of my ducks in an enrobing line well before that.

Sure enough, it's been over a year and a half and things are still changing around here. It took me a long time to learn to shelf my ego and give in to popular demand despite my interest in shaping Eclipse to be what I had always imagined it to be. I am a business person after all and youz gots to sell whats the people wants to buy. And this, the most recent addition of the Eclipse family, is probably well over-due!

Having been consistently the most popular part of our Seasonal Dessert Tasting Platters, I have finally decided to offer our bread puddings to go! Made from all fresh ingredients including locally baked organic challah bread from Charlie's Best Bread (find them at all the local farmer's markets!), these goodies are gooey, custardy, and everything that a decadent dessert should be. And now you can serve them to your guests at home!

We're baking our Chocolate Bread Puddings in 3lb slabs and wrap each with a cute label and flavor description before them go into frozen storage. All you need do is stock your freezer for those unexpected guests and pop one in the oven or microwave for service! Stuffed with chocolate chunks and a variety of other temptations, each makes 10-12 servings and is $18. Or you can buy 2 for $30. Ask what flavors we have in stock as they will always been rotating. Today I made:

White Chocolate Cherry

Milk Chocolate Maple-Pecan

White Chocolate Blackberry

Azteca Cinnamon Roll

Sea-salted Caramel Chunk

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Spring Dessert Tasting Platter

Things are warming up in Sunny San Diego and there's no time like the present to usher in the new season with a new Seasonal Dessert Tasting Platter! If you have yet to indulge, this is our collection of four lovely little desserts that rotates every 6-8 weeks. Here's what we're cooking up this time:

Toasted Hazelnut and Cocoa Nib Baklava with Orange Blossom and Sea-salt
Grilled 31% White Chocolate and Fig-Orange Peel Bar
Frozen Baby Banana, Dipped in 61% Dark Chocolate and Coated in Espresso-Walnut Pieces
Toasted Pecan and Maple Bread Pudding with 36% Milk Chocolate Chips and Chile-Maple Syrup

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Mediterrean Pics

The pics are in from our last dinner, thanks to the lovely Autumn who moonlighted as our photographer. You may have seen her around the shop as she helps me in chocolate productions on Friday and has also helped us out with our Farmer's Markets on Saturdays and Sundays. That's right, she's a multi-tasker!

If you missed the last post, our next dinner is April 25th and it has a Oaxacan theme (all things mole!). I know, I know... mole is the first place I should have gone to when first considering chocolate-infused entrees, but I actually found the prospects a little stressful. Mole Negro (which we are featuring as our entree) is actually quite complicated, complete with a few dozen ingredients all particularly prepared and each contributing unique flavor to the final composition. Well with 14 dinners already under my belt, apparently I am up for the task.

For the complete details on that dinner see this post here. Until then, salivate over these:

Starter Plate: Grilled Haloumi Platter with Roasted Red Pepper & Hazelnut Hummus and White Bean-Lemon Spread.

First Course: Spinach and Dill Spanakopita with White Chocolate Blood Orange-Olive Oil Glaze.
Entree: Beef and Lamb Kaftas with Cocoa-Balsamic Glaze and Saffron, Pea, Cocoa Nib Rice.

Dessert: Baklava Duo of Hazelnut-Smoked Serano Sea Salt and Walnut-Pink Peppercorn with Dark Chocolate Olive Oil Fondue.