As someone who spends 99 percent of her time below 44th Street in Manhattan, I need a lot of motivation to travel to the Upper West Side. The six-ounce chocolate chip cookies at Levain Bakery are one thing I'll make a trip for. So is the luxurious ice cream at Grom, which provoked mass hysteria around the city when it started serving its pistachio gelato spring. Now I can proactively add one more place to my list—the about-to-open Upper West Side branch of Jacques Torres's Chocolate Haven. As the New York Observer reported recently, Torres wanted to open in the spring so he could sell his giant chocolate bunnies at Easter. Then he planned to launch in the summer to feature his own deluxe ice cream (no word on whether he's tasted any of Grom's gelatos and what he thinks about them). Now he's going to open in the fall, and he's so busy dealing with construction issues that he hasn't had time to create anything special for his new audience. What's clear is that there won't be a lot of fanfare... the doors will open the second the last nail is hammered into place. What makes things especially convenient for me is that these sweet stops might as well be next door to each other. Torres is opening at 275 Amsterdam Avenue, off 74th street. That's steps away from Levain, which is on 74th Street off Amsterdam. Grom is on Broadway off 76th Street. But before I get too comfortable on the UWS, it seems that Torres is planning to open an Upper East Side location just as soon as this one is up and running.
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