Fleur Chocolate is a delicious diversion in downtown Vancouver

Cafe also offers smoothies, coffee, tea and ice cream




Dining Out review: Fleur Chocolate

 Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

 Telephone: 360-609-9029.

 Where: 1304 Main St., Vancouver. fleurchocolatte.com

 Health score: Fleur Chocolate has received a pre-opening inspection and is scheduled for a routine inspection in the near future. Zero is a perfect score, and Clark County Public Health closes restaurants with a score of 100 or higher. For information, call 360-397-8428.

Why: At Fleur Chocolate, gourmet chocolates are made daily with the finest ingredients and according to European tradition. With a rotation of more than 30 varieties, there is something for everyone who shares the love of chocolate. In addition to chocolate, the little French-style cafe has coffee, tea, ice cream, fudge and fresh fruit and vegetable smoothies and a few pastries procured from Marci’s Bakery.

What I tried: I tried an assortment of chocolates and a vegetable smoothie. I had originally planned on having a three-cheese grilled cheese sandwich, but when I got to Fleur Chocolate, I was told that this was taken off the menu because the making of chocolate was consuming most of the time and it was no longer feasible to offer the sandwiches.

My chocolate truffle selection included a peanut butter dream, Irish cream, mint, blood orange and peppermint. Some were milk chocolate and some were dark chocolate.

All the chocolates were enjoyable — some more than others, based strictly on personal preference. They were not bursting with their respective special flavors but were instead more subtle, than say, Godiva or See’s brands. Each had a significantly thick chocolate exterior. The center of the truffles varied from super-thick ganache to a more creamy consistency.

The vegetable smoothie contained carrots, spinach, kale and banana. The concoction was blended to an evenly smooth consistency and tasted healthful.

Menu highlights beyond what I tried: There are eight different ice cream flavors to choose from and four loose-leaf teas. Smoothie ingredients include cucumber, beets, carrots, kale, spinach, peaches, mango, pineapple, banana, strawberry and blueberry; almond, hemp, skinny or whole milk is available as the base. A full espresso menu provides a selection of coffee beverages.

Atmosphere: Brick walls and a bay-style window enclose the small dining/sitting area with charm. A moderate number of round bistro tables for two, set with decorative napkin holders and flowers in vases, provide seating. Chocolates are fancifully displayed under glass and in a bakery case, as are pastries. White wainscot fronts the order counter where loose-leaf teas, flavored syrups and smoothie add-ins are easily viewed. A small amount of handcrafted jewelry is displayed in curios and tagged for sale. A potpourri of French themed decorative items are set about and hung on the walls.

Other observations: Service was friendly. Gift certificates are available. Fleur Chocolate offers catering for special events.

Cost: Chocolate is sold by the piece. Smoothies come in 16- and 20-ounce sizes and range from $4.95 to $6.95 depending on how many ingredients are chosen. Tea costs $2.50 for a 16-ounce and $2.80 for a 20-ounce. Specialty drinks are available in 12-ounce, 16-ounce and 20-ounce sizes and range from $2 to $4.95. Blended drinks are $4.95 for a 16-ounce and $5.95 for a 20-ounce. Ice cream is $3.75 per bowl.