I’m pret-ty sure I’m not going to win Mother of the Year, but after Wednesday’s epic pizza party (more on that in another post) and yesterday’s trip to the new Cacao 70 Eatery in Gatineau, I might be in the running for Mom of the Month. Plus it’s World Chocolate Day (did you know?) and not only did we celebrate, but we did it a day early. The restaurant is Cacao 70’s newest location (it opened last month) and one of three new concepts for the Quebec-based chocolatier. We were invited to sample the menu free of charge in exchange for a review, so today I’d like to show you around and tell you more about our visit.
The brunch, lunch and sweet spot is inside Les Promenades Gatineau mall, a stone’s throw from the food court but an entirely different feel. I literally gasped when I saw it, buzzing past the waffle sample to gawk at the gorgeous palm-print and tan leather upholstery, the shiny penny-tiled floor and the Instagram-worthy panel wall moulding. Interior designer Zébulon Perron did an amazing job with the space. (He also designed the other two concepts, The Sweet House — for chocolate drinks, desserts and all-day brunch — and The Dippery, an ice cream shop.)
Je m’excuse, Black and White Waffle sample. We need another minute to take it all in.
I’d hoped the restaurant would have at least one exterior wall with plenty of natural light for the sake of my photos, but that’s nothing I can’t forgive with a little chocolate fondue.
Clearly my son and I were on the same page. Together with my daughter, we passed on The Eatery’s lunch/brunch menu of sandwiches, crepes, frittatas, omelettes and the like to pore over The Sweet House menu’s chocolate-focused delights.
Lily went with the Black and White Waffle (“A classic waffle topped with whipped cream and a scoop of chocolate and vanilla ice cream with a drizzle of melted dark and white chocolate. Served with chocolate-covered cereal and melted chocolate.”) and James and I agreed to share the Bring-It-All-On Sharing Plate For Two Or More (“A quarter slice of a 12″ chocolate pizza, a banana split waffle, fresh strawberries, bananas, pineapples, graham crackers, brownie bites, chocolate wafers, chocolate-covered ice cream, two small Americocoa drinks, a milk chocolate dipping fondue and marshmallows that you can roast with your own grill.”) Hubby was there too but not particularly hungry so he ordered an Americano and offered to sample from our plates.
Oh, and two small American-Style Hot Chocolates (“Cacao 70’s classic hot chocolate served with marshmallows and drizzled with milk or dark melted chocolate”) for the kids, which our server Ève suggested over the Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa (“Premium milk chocolate cocoa powder brewed in hot milk”) for just 20 cents more. ($4.95 vs. $4.75 for the small.)
Him: “Try my hot chocolate.”
Me: “Oh that is good.”
Maybe the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had. And not just because James offered to share, ‘tho that made it extra sweet. So creamy!
Our plates were in full view at the front counter as they were assembled and garnished.
And they weren’t shy with the whipped cream. Holy cow! Now that’s what I call a $12 waffle.
$12.75 to be exact, but nobody’s splitting hairs with this in front of them. My daughter managed to polish off the entire thing, but I’d argue this would happily satisfy two kids.
And for $31.95, a sharing plate with not one, but two platters! I was stunned when Ève brought the second. Both were the same, except one had the burner for the marshmallows and one had the melted chocolate.
Cacao 70 opened its own chocolate factory in May, producing its own chocolate bars for the store. There are currently 12 franchises across Canada, with eight more expected to open by the end of the year.
The chocolate fondue, ice cream, brownie chunks, fresh fruit (the freshest!) and caramelized bananas were stand-outs for me. The kids loved the waffles, cookies, marshmallows and the nibble of pizza they tried before we packed it up to take home.
“Next time I think I’d have something smaller,” my guy said as he sopped up the last of the melted chocolate with a brownie. “Maybe just the chocolate and the pizza. And the fruit and the ice cream.” Yeah so much smaller, ha ha.
We were the only ones in the restaurant save for a couple of people who popped in for a poke around and ordered drinks to go, but it was a Wednesday and they’ve only just opened so I’m sure when word gets out they’ll be busier. Our server was friendly and attentive; our food and drinks arrived super quickly (no doubt helped by the slow day); and the restaurant and washroom spotless.
I don’t think you could ask for much more for a first visit, and considering they’ve only just opened I’m pretty impressed to see they hit every mark. We’ll definitely be back to try it again.
Have you tried Cacao 70? What’s your favourite way to enjoy chocolate?
Our Cacao 70 meal was free of charge. All opinions are my own.