At The Chocolate Gecko, award-winning chocolatiers swirl together fresh fruit, spicy cayenne pepper, and a splash of rich liqueurs to form decadent treats comprising all-natural ingredients. The shop’s multi-tiered shelves sprout batches of chocolate-dipped fruit and classic sweets, such as peanut-butter cups, turtles, and rich, butter toffee komodo crunches. Molded truffles burst with creamy liqueur-infused fillings and take on a variety of shapes, including Aztec pyramids, tiny Buddhas, and the heads of former Supreme Court justices.
The Chocolate Gecko’s sweet-tooth-appeasing staff shares its confectionary wisdom during one-hour chocolate-making classes, which have covered such sweet-concocting skills as tempering basics, concocting both molded and hand-rolled truffles, and reverse engineering the Cadbury Bunny. The Chocolate Gecko encourages guests to bring along alcoholic or nonalcoholic beverages to complement the velvety morsels of each class.
Bruegger's bagels are culled from fresh, wholesome ingredients and then kettle-boiled in the New York tradition, resulting in chewy centers with crisp outer crusts. Awaken your taste buds with a savory combination such as the asiago-parmesan bagel smothered with olive-pimiento cream cheese ($0.99 for bagel only, $2.29 with cream cheese). Or prove yourself to be a sweetie by adopting a family of six carb circles and washing them up and behind the ears in a tub of garden-veggie cream cheese ($7.89). Bruegger's deli menu is flanked by an array of breakfast sandwiches ($2.99–$6.79) and lunch fare; bury thoughts of the snarky snooze button with the spinach-and-cheddar-omelette sandwich, or defuse your lunchtime hunger siren with a signature sandwich ($5.69–$6.99) such as the herby turkey or roma roast beef.
Best-friend bakers Abby Ruscitto and Shawnie Masilotti craft Melt Creations' kaleidoscope of custom cake pops in an array of sweet flavor combinations. Fourteen cake varieties including chocolate, cheesecake, and sugar-free selections bake into bite-sized orbs before 25 coatings wrap each morsel in a caramel, pomegranate, or chocolate-mint-flavored shell. Confections don crowns of frosting and toppings of colorful sprinkles or crushed pretzels, then perch atop a paper stick for silverware-free savoring. Meanwhile, designer cake pops take on preplanned combinations such as the Breakfast, which merges the salty sweetness of maple-apple-bacon cake with maple frosting and tomorrow's news.
Since opening in May, Crestwood Catering & Deli has been packing custom and specialty deli sandwiches with fresh fixings, cheeses, and meats. Custom Woodys sandwiches headline the extensive menu, starting with a foundation of a roll, wrap, or white, whole-wheat, rye, or pumpernickel bread. The Tribute BLT ($7.75) deviates from its traditional fillings, adding an avocado and a fried egg to its culinary trio and doing for the sandwich world what the addition of Simon and Garfunkel did for Hanson. Sub captains update a lunchbox classic by searing thick bologna before painting it with roasted peppers and speckling it with provolone cheese (a $6.99 value); with tomato, cucumber, and dill havarti, the egg-salad-and-smoked-salmon sandwich (an $8.99 value) spawns currents of sophisticated flavor. Fountain-style Pepsi products round out the meal with carbonated pizzazz (a $1 value each).
Specializing in daily-made cookies, brownies, and scones, Bake For You instills confectionery creations with local and organic ingredients, free-range eggs, and smooth Vermont butter. Cookies ($18 for two dozen) come in six fanciful flavors, including traditional tongue pleasers classic chocolate chip or old-fashioned oatmeal cookie, and free-spirited savorers can succumb to Bake For You's signature white-chocolate-chip butter cookie, which erupts with dried cranberry bursts.
Garbing players for film and vaudeville since 1917, The Costumer's collection of timeless and updated ensembles bedecks torsos for theater and seasonal holidays. Racks of Halloween costumes ready denizens for dress-up with attire such as the toga outfit for women ($19.98) and men ($19.98). Freddy Krueger costumes ($19.98) dress teens for evenings of pumpkin-popping mischief, and the Li'l Scarecrow outfit ($19.98) helps toddlers ward off parakeets dangling from mobiles. Costume and theatrical makeup kits blot color onto complexions for self-made masks, and accessories and props help accentuate costumes and homes with decorative dash. For more intricate costumes, patrons can apply the Groupon to getups such as the Ghost of King Louis XVI costume ($55.98) or dress as the Internet by gluing strands of HTML onto limbs.