CHOCOLATE BAR NEW JERSEY | PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER
New wave of sweets by the sea A gigantic emporium, a chocolate boutique, and a gelato spot offer fresh sugar sensations amid the traditional Shore treats.
Ever since 19th-century confectioners began making saltwater taffy and fudge, easy access to a sugar buzz has been part of the rush of a boardwalk summer. But this season has seen the debuts of a few new ideas to the old lineup of seaside sweets.
New stores from Long Beach Island to Ocean City are suddenly churning Italian gelato to compete with the ever-present soft serve, boxing designer truffles and Belgian chocolates to give fudge shops a run for their cocoa, and reimagining the old penny-candy store with enough wattage to fit into Atlantic City's glitzy new Boardwalk look.
If you're looking for true candy art, then perhaps you should head to Alison Nelson's Chocolate Bar. This sophisticated little shop, a branch of Nelson's chocolate boutique in Lower Manhattan, landed in New Jersey because her parents run the B&B, Steal Away, just a block away.
The store features some amazingly good high-end truffles, an "Atomic Line" of supersize chocolate bon-bons like the Elvis (stuffed with banana-marshmallow, graham crackers and caramel), as well as some mighty fine Belgian chocolate bars.
The Bar's biggest summer hit, though, will undoubtedly be its iced chocolate, which is essentially an intense-but-drinkable ganache cooled down and served beneath a pouf of whipped cream. Add a squirt of peppermint, coconut, or, even better, a shot of espresso, and you'll be more than ready to ride the Sea Dragon at nearby Fantasy Island.