Having originated in Montreal before arriving in Toronto, dessert restaurant Cacao 70 has now opened multiple locations across our beautiful city, giving Torontonians with a sweet tooth the perfect place to indulge in all of their chocolate-y fantasies. Though I’d heard of the hot spot on many occasions, it wasn’t until I visited the Queen W location this week that I actually had the chance to see what all the fuss was about.
Upon entering the restaurant, the open kitchen concept immediately grabs your attention, as the cozy, yet modern coffee shop-like environment invites you in with the comforting smell of chocolate. While the fact that the food, and drinks are being prepared right next to where the seating is located does result in a bit of unwanted noise, it gives the restaurant more of a friendly and welcoming vibe, immediately making you feel like you could easily settle in there for the next few hours.
With so many decadent desserts to choose from on the menu, the options were slightly overwhelming at first. Thankfully, our waiter pointed us in the right direction, suggesting that we start with one of their specialty hot chocolates. Boasting a staggering 15 choices, we told our waiter what type of chocolate we generally like and he suggested the French Cream and Costa Rica. The latter was a French style white chocolate drink that sported a sweet, fresh cream flavor with nutty undertones and lingering hints of citrus and vanilla, while the former was a slightly roasted cocoa aroma embedded in a creamy body.
Different than most hot chocolate drinks, we were served a cognac glass along with a metal cup. The glass was coated at the bottom in our chocolate of choice, while the cup housed the base drink itself, which we’d pour into the coated glass. Once combined, the two would mix together, resulting in a smooth tasting concoction of sweetness.
After a tantalizing tease of what was to come, we decided to dig into the desserts, and here’s what we satisfied our chocolate-y desires with.
Chocolate Marshmallow Pizza (warm pizza crust topped with melted milk chocolate chunks and roasted marshmallows. Served with fresh strawberries, bananas and melted chocolate): Have you ever had chocolate pizza before? No? Neither had we, until we bit into our first slice of what can only be described as heaven on earth. Transporting us back to our childhood where we’d sit around the campfire making s’mores, it’s safe to say that this dish was love at first bite. The golden brown marshmallows (just how we like them) delivered a sugar rush the instant they hit our mouths, mixing with the rich chocolate for a seriously sweet experience. The strawberries and bananas, meanwhile, though not used on the pizza itself, made for a perfect pairing, delivering a fresh, fruity palette cleanser once we had finished the main event.
Banana Split Waffle (classic waffle topped with caramelized bananas and drizzled with melted milk chocolate. Served with chocolate-coated cereal, chocolate covered vanilla ice cream and melted chocolate): Let’s start off with the caramelized bananas – seriously, how can we ever eat a normal banana again? A perfectly glazed coating of caramel covered the extremely fresh fruit and the way it crackled as you bit into it was simply magical. To be honest, we could have probably eaten a plate of these alone. But when mixed in with the waffle and some chocolate, well, that’s just the recipe for an excellent desert. Admittedly, some syrup would have been nice, as the dish did taste slightly dry at times. You could possibly fix this by pouring the melted chocolate over the waffle, but that would probably be a bit too sweet/rich for most people. So, while syrup would have been a welcome touch, just to moisten up the waffle itself, it’s only a minor complaint about what was otherwise a tremendously tasty dessert.
It’s pretty simple: if you like chocolate, or just enjoy sweets in general, this place is going to be like a little slice of heaven for you. Everything is just so delicious and decadent and the desserts are absolutely to die for. With a cozy decor and late hours (11pm or midnight depending on the day), it’s easy to see why the restaurant has become a favorite post-dinner hangout amongst Torontonians. It’s got a very inviting vibe to it and with a vast menu full of chocolate-y goodness, you’ll never be hard pressed finding something to satisfy your sweet tooth at Cacao 70.
Photos by Matt Joseph unless otherwise noted.