What You'll Get
A fine chocolate is like a fine wine: full-flavored, delicately structured, and inadvisable to consume while operating a Segway. Today's Groupon gleefully enables the DC area's raging chocoholism. For $15, you get $30 worth of in-store gourmet chocolate treats at Artisan Confections in Arlington. Everything in the shop made in small batches on-site without artificial preservatives, giving the goodies a shelf life of two weeks. The intoxicating aroma of warm, dark chocolate that fills the boutique is included in today's Groupon.
Artisan owner, chocolatier, and pastry chef Jason Andelman has been dubbed "the Willy Wonka of Arlington" by Express, and not just because he wears a purple top hat and likes to take customers on nightmarish boat rides. The beautiful designs adorning his bonbons are as much art for the eyes as they are for the tongue. Artisan's seasonal artist series rotates regularly, as do the feature designs by local artists. Currently, Monica Gallagher's love-struck skulls perch atop a dark-chocolate ganache with a hint of brandy and champagne, while Val Lucas has added a honey-drop pattern to Artisan's layer of crispy pecan praline topped with a bitter molasses ganache. For something spicier, try the bittersweet ganache infused with smoky chipotle chilies and vanilla bean accented by a Southwestern motif by Rania Hassan. Artisan will also be offering a special gift box for this year's Cherry Blossom Festival, as well as a ton of surprise treats for Easter.
Artisan's more perennial tongue-ticklers include the shop's signature salted butter caramel bonbon, a shimmering gold orb featuring soft caramel made with fresh butter and sea salt. The coconut caramel bonbon sweetens the caramel flavor with coconut milk, while the cinnamon caramel bonbon infuses it with cinnamon. Flavors also come in Tahitian vanilla bean, orange cardamom, raspberry tea, passion fruit, and even with a hint of 18-year-old Elijah Craig bourbon, just like Grandpa Ned. The 15-piece box ($26) lets you sample them all, while the 30-piece box ($48) lets you go back for seconds. Orders can be as small or as large as you like ($1.50 per piece, $1.25 each for 50 or more).
Beyond the bonbons, Artisan also offers slightly less fancy day-to-day delights such as its popular Fleur de Sel caramels ($15/12 pieces) dusted with dark chocolate and a touch of French sea salt, crispy peanut-butter bars topped with milk chocolate and honey ganache ($4), and decadently dark bittersweet drinking chocolate. Everyone only gets one Groupon, but you can buy extras as gifts, so treat all your most generous friends to a barrage of bonbons from Artisan Confections, and then show up unexpectedly at their house.
- Chocolate makes a great gift & the truffles from Artisan Confections featuring designs by local artists are on my list to pick up. – Sara Dick, Washington City Paper
- If you find yourself elsewhere in the state with a chocolate craving, check out...[products] made fresh in small batches, with quality ingredients, and sold in their own storefront locations: Artisan Confections in Arlington... – Holly Timberline, Virginia Living
- Artisan confections makes high-quality, truly creative bon bons. The Fleur de sel caramels are my favorite--appropriately chewy and fresh. – Lola, Urbanspoon
- The chocolates are incredible, not to mention intricately decorated. In fact, they are so pretty you sorta feel bad popping them into your mouth. – Ryan W., Yelp
- ...their modest range of flavors cover the spectrum from exciting (rose cassis, cinnamon caramel) to tried-and-true (mint, vanilla bean) but they manage to hit the jackpot with almost every one. – Kendra K., Yelp
The Fine Print
Promotional value expires Nov 1, 2010. Amount paid never expires. Limit 1 per person, may buy multiple as gifts. Must redeem in 1 visit. Not valid with other offers. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.