Ciocolat/Reviews prior to 2007

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These are archived reviews of Ciocolat from 2006 and earlier. For more recent comments, please visit the entry.

Worse Omlette EVER. $7.50 for a shriveled, over-cooked couple of eggs and old-vegetables. It tasted like egg-beaters. If that wasn't enough, the toast was some kind of boring white bread, barely toasted with a huge slab of butter on the inside. I'm sure the french toast is great and they're deserts and pastries are awesome but that omlette was highway robbery. Just wanted to warn you about the omlette. But of course, I still love drinking port/beer during happy hour! - AndyPastalaniec


The cranberry-white chocolate scones are probably the most delicious scones I've ever had. - MiriamKaufman


While Ciocolat has truffles, they are not very good. I recommend that you go to Mishka's or Common Grounds as they get their truffles from Vevey Confections, a local maker of tasty confections. The 10cm square brownie at Ciocolat is good, though. -KarlMogel


What is the big deal about Ciocolat?! Their truffles are $1.50-$2.00 each and mediocre. (The Guinness one was particularly bland and disappointing). I can get better chocolates at Trader Joe's. The raspberry spongecake I sampled was nothing remarkable. -ReginaSikora


I agree with Regina, sure the place is fancy, but they seem way over priced. Maybe I just don't have refined taste. My truffle was good, but I don't want to pay upwards of two bucks for one! And I got a fruit smoothie there with strawberries. The strawberries were not ripe enough and sour tasting, also not worth the 3-4 bucks I shelled out for it. -MichelleAccurso


I don't understand the allure of Ciocolat either. While Ciocolat has great scones, and a nice atmosphere, I think Konditorei has far better cakes and pastries (not to mention gelato) and a much larger selection of them as well.


To me, dessert is dessert, so I didn't find Ciocolat out of this world. But on the up side, I got a small discount on the price of my slice of cheesecake because the girl serving me smeared a little of it on the plate, thus (I suppose) "ruining the presentation." -AnsateJones


I just moved here a month ago, but this is the only place with very good pastries I have yet found here, and not for lack of trying. (I can't try out Konditorei since I'm getting around on foot.) The piece of puff paste that I had this morning for breakfast was the best I've had in quite a while; it's very rare that it actually tastes of butter and not of freezer. I'll definitely go back, and not just because it's near where I live. -DanielBrown


Unsure of what to order from the savory menu, I asked the server what he recommended, and he told me that the BLT was the best BLT he'd ever had in his life. It was true of mine, as well. -ElisaHough


I've tried the Tiramisu, Orange Chocolate Mousse Cake, and what I think is the Chocolate Hazelnut Cream Cake (a gift from a friend) and I was blown away! One slice of cake is about the same price as a hefty slice of pie at Baker's Square. Pies are great, but to satisfy- no, PAMPER- that sweet tooth, head to Ciocolat! -JennaChan


I've been here twice and am mildly impressed with both visits. The entire place has an air of pretentiousness. I realize it's European so it's a little unavoidable, but it seems to draw in the students interested in pseudo-intellectual conversation ... and uppity Democrats. Beyond that impression, it's a nice place. They serve really good desserts and the pricing is fairer than I expected. Sure, it was somewhere around $7 for my sandwich, but it came with a HUGE portion of salad. They also carry the French lemonades I'm fond of, so props to that, too. -SS


Ciocolat has really good desserts (probably not the place to go for just an average sweet tooth that a brownie/cookie can satisfy, but for one of those mousse-cake with a mocha ones.) The mood of the place is a little uppity (especially if you happen to be there when they hold their High Teas), but still nice. Price is a little high compared to the other Davis spots, but compared to other big-city dessert joints, it's actually comparable. -HchungSo


Ciocolat has always had a soft spot in my heart when it comes to cafes. This particular place, located so close to the heart of the UC Davis campus, is a gem in itself partially due it's wholly unacademic appearence. You'll find no beaten couches and college garage bands here. No, instead a few quiet students on their laptops, professors conversing, and local Davis residents gathering for tea and sweets. The facade is quaint and welcoming, the inside contemporary with shadows of French influence softening every line of architecture and decor you see. At night, simple strings of white light make the little cafe light up with a romantic and soothing glow.

The food here is sparse but decent, stuff that you would find at expensive bistros but you'll be paying a fraction of the price. The menu consists of only a few items; BLT's with basil mayo, red onion, and hickory-smoked bacon on focaccia, and their wild mushroom lasagna for example are sure to please. The last time I went I ordered their soup of the day. Now unfortuneatly, restaurants have led me to believe that soup of the day is usually synonymous with the word "crap," yet I continuously order it anyways. I regretted my decision imeediately, but gosh darn it, I loves my soup.

Did I receive my synonymous soup? Oh no, no! Not this time! I was presented with a gorgeous butternut squash soup, swirled with creme' fresche and parsely, and a slice of fresh focaccia on the side. It was mind blowing, I actually unraveled secrets to the universe. Example? Seven angels can dance on the head of a pin unless they've been drinking. (Then they're just passed out on the couch, or eating 7-11 nachos the next day.)

Of course, there was a downside. My friend's Seasonal Green Salad was, while tasty, a bit disturbing. I know they have to hand crumble feta over the damn thing, but seeing thumbprints stamped into every piece is just a bit, oh, gross to me. Chef's should put their mark on their food, but not in such a literal manner. It's unappealing and unappetizing.

They also serve high tea. A decadent four course meal, consisting of fancy little sandwiches, white chocolate and raspberry scones served with lemon curd and red currant raspberry jam, followed by an assortment of desserts, and ending in fresh berries with chantilly creme. This is only served Friday and Saturday from 2-4:30, so set aside some time. You'll need to make reservations for this breathtaking event.

This time, however, I went specifically for the desserts. I dragged my partner in crime, Rob, with me. For someone who was hesitent to come, he was more than pleased once he saw the dessert case, filled to the brim with a few dozen assortments of truffles, cakes, tarts, and other orgiastic little bits.

The Blackberry and White Chocolate Mousse was definetly calling out my name. A large tier of white angel cake, a layer of an unidentifiable sweet cream (honestly, I really have no idea what it was 'cause I ate it so fast, but seconds please!) and a thick layer of blackberry mousse. The whole thing covered in piles and piles of white chocolate shavings! It was embarrassing salivating all over the display case. Towel please?

My eyes started to tear up after one bite. The play of flavors and textures between the cake, mystery creme, mousse, and white chocolate was bliss. I honestly don't think I have ever had a cake this good in my entire life. When I die, I want to be re-incarnated as this cake.

I pretty much threw a tantrum when Rob insisted we trade. He gave me his Orange Chocolate Mousse Cake. This was a beautiful orange mousse, sitting on top of a small layer of chocolate cake. Sounds great no? Yeah, well I thought it would be great too. The orange mousse tasted like whipped cream mixed with Orange Extract, and it totally overpowered the cake which could have been missing all together and you really wouldn't have known the difference. Given, though, I can see other people enjoying this, but I myself shrug it off with indifference.

Now while Ciocolat is overall a great place, there are downsides. The people working there, while friendly, seem slightly reluctant to be there. They don't seem to know a whole lot about what their selling, and their coffee is way to watered down. The staff could use some tasting and training to make them a little more excited and knowledgeable about what they are offering to the customer.

Overall, I give Ciocolat a 4 out of 5. Ciocolat is a pleasant, sweet, and calming exprience, and I plan to go again. My advice to you if you go? Try not to make too much of a scene when inhaling your cake. -ProtoGarrett


After years of driving past this place, my fiancee and I finally stopped in to check out what all the fuss was. We ordered two slices of cake: a cinnamon peach mousse cake, and a chocolate truffle cake. The cinnamon peach mousse had an interesting texture, and definitely tasted like peach, but the cinnamon flavor that I was expecting was completely lacking and made the cake bland. The slice of chocolate truffle cake was very dry, to the point where we didn't even finish it. A slice of cake that costs $4-$4.50 should be WAY better than these slices were. We were both immensely disappointed. (2006-07-01) —AlexPomeranz


2006-10-25 22:25:38   Not big on desserts so this is not the ideal place for me. But their lunch food is overall quite good with some hits and misses. The salads are generally great. The sandwiches are very good but the selection is minimal (many of them the other day were on croissants which is not the top pick for sandwich bread in my world). The quiche is bimodal in quality. The quiche lorraine is great. The vegetable quiche is almost inedible (it seems to be 50% overcooked broccoli and mushrooms). So if you pick the right item it is great for lunch. —JonathanEisen


2006-11-01 16:17:49   They have fabulous desserts and drinks and a very tasty salads. But, I'm sorry to say that the new breakfast service is awful and the prices are outrageous. I was very disappointed with their breakfast and do not plan to eat breakfast there again (unless it is a cup of coffee and a pastry!). —GradStudent06


2006-11-03 18:37:32   Great deserts. —RichardBobo

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