MAY 1999

Chocolate-Rum Chiffon Cake

Rocky Road Fudge

Laura's Bittersweet Chocolate Cream Pie

Espresso-Chip Meringues

Sweet Spot


Hi! My name is Stephanie Zonis, and welcome to the May, 1999 (Mother's Day) edition of "For Chocolate Lovers Only". Each month you'll find great recipes, tips, and recommendations on where to find chocolate specialties. Happy Mother's Day to all you Moms out there!

Chocolate Recommendation of the Month: Just suppose, for a minute, that you could find fresh, good-quality, hand-made, Belgian chocolates in a traditional selection, featuring classic flavors for their centers. You can already find those? All right, how about if you could customize your order, including only those chocolates that you wanted? And what if you could order them on line? Now, you can. This month's Chocolate Recommendation is Nirvana Chocolates, a company that sells confections with all of the above characteristics.

Nirvana Chocolates are prettily decorated, but not too fussy in appearance. The center flavors are subtle, yet definite and true. Myself, I think it is absolutely wonderful to be able to go on line and pick out just the types of chocolates that you want; if you prefer, however, you can purchase an already-boxed assortment. Take a look at the informative and clever website, at:, or call (877) INDULGE (toll free) to order. And Nirvana Chocolates come with a pictorial guide, so figuring out which chocolate contains what is easy. I like this company's attitude and products--and now, if Mom or Dad or any other loved one deserves a little "nirvana", you know exactly where to get them some!

Restaurant of the Month: I don't usually include restaurants in this column, but recently I had such a lovely dinner that I have to tell you about it. The Stage House Inn, at 366 Park Avenue in Scotch Plains, NJ, has an ambiance as warm as its working fireplace. The wait staff is polite and attentive without being pushy, and they'll answer any questions you may have about the dishes. Food presentation is given great thought here, and the food is well-prepared, and prepared with imagination. There is a diverse menu, too, so everyone will find something they like. I can recommend a number of dishes: the hot mushroom bisque with forest mushrooms and creme fraiche; the warm goat cheese tart; seared foie gras; salad of yellow beefsteak tomatoes with baby greens (a special on the night I was there); and veal shank with vegetable risotto. For dessert, try the sorbets in warm strawberry soup. I don't usually like pears, but the pear sorbet was intensely-flavored, creamy-smooth, and delicious (the wild berry sorbet was just as good). If it's a non-chocolate dessert and I'm telling you to order it, it must be good! Prices are expensive, but not unreasonably so; jackets for men are requested. Call for a reservation at (908) 322-4224.

Do you have a comment, question, or suggestion? I'd like your input into this column. You can reach me at:; please specify that you're writing regarding "For Chocolate Lovers Only". Thank you!