Spartan warriors of yesteryear worked themselves into a buzzing, chocolate-induced rage before battle and frequently proclaimed, “No one knows the truffles we’ve seen” upon return from a campaign. Sample battle-worthy treats with today’s Groupon, for $10, you get a chocolate and espresso tasting for two at Leonidas Chocolaterie on Chicago Avenue (a 22.30 value with tax).
Chocolate increased in popularity during the Dark Ages when nobility began offering sweet morsels instead of leechings to woo potential brides. Swing by Leonidas Chocolaterie with a loved one to sample a preassorted selection of a dozen seductive sweets, including two Princess Enrobee fondant pralines, hazelnut-chocolate pralines cloaked in dark chocolate ($14.82 before tax). Two Alexander le Grand lait pieces are also in attendance, intermixing milk chocolate, soft caramel, and coffee in a combination richer than a lottery-winning rapper. A pair of buche massepain pistache pieces boast more nuttiness than even the most absent-minded professors, and two classic truffles deliver a multifaceted cocoa-y punch. Wash down the remaining buttercreams and orange ganaches with two shots of high-end Illy espresso, served in Illy cups ($5.50 before tax).
Leonidas Chocolate Café
Founded in 1913, Leonidas produces more than 100 kinds of Belgian chocolates and disseminates them to sweet teeth the world over. Inside the cozy Chocolate Café, hot-chocolate beverages are sold alongside solid chocolate callettes, each made in accordance with traditional methods from 100 percent pure cocoa butter, fresh butter, and fresh cream. Leonidas's chefs create additional treats with hazelnuts from Turkey, morello cherries from the Périgord, and walnuts from Grenoble, with items available in-store and online. The staff encourages decadence and serves an assortment of fresh truffles such as the perle coco, which is forged with milk-chocolate ganache and coconut flakes.