Co Co. Sala to Go

The Penn Quarter chocolate-themed restaurant opens a little boutique for take-home sweets.

The new Co Co. Sala chocolate boutique. Photograph courtesy of Nisha Sidhu.

The team behind Co Co. Sala, the svelte Penn Quarter chocolate lounge, opened an adjacent boutique Monday by slicing a dark-chocolate ribbon with a torch-warmed knife. Fanciful, yes, but so is the little store that sells pastry chef Santosh Tiptur’s chocolate-covered bacon and white-chocolate bars with black-lava salt and pink peppercorns. It’s a more intimate space than the restaurant, a sprawling space for dessert tasting menus and chocolate-accented small plates (some, such as shrimp mac and cheese, are thankfully cocoa-free). In the shop, visitors can nibble samples and ask the staff questions about what owner Nisha Sidhu calls “chocolate for adults.”

Still, Tiptur’s latest creations have a whimsical, nostalgic streak. The playful Strawberry Jammin’ Bar ($10)—white chocolate inlaid with dried strawberries and Pop Rocks—leaves the mouth crackling with the carbonated candy. Chocolate ganache on a lollipop stick, “the hot choc’ pop,” ($4) is designed to be swirled into a cup of boiling milk for rich hot cocoa, which can be made even richer with a hefty, house-made vanilla marshmallow ($4). The biggest throwback to childhood? The Carnival Bar ($10), which involves a tile of milk chocolate studded with caramel corn and bits of dried Gala or Red Delicious apples.

Co Co. Sala Chocolate Boutique, 929 F St., NW; 202-347-4265. Open Monday through Saturday 11 to 7; Sunday noon to 4.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.