A Taste Of Ireland’s finest choclatier Right In Bryant Park

New York, NY- The Irish have a saying in Gaelic, “Cead mile failte.” Translation: A hundred thousand welcomes. From Ireland to Bryant Park, never was this truer than at the new Lily O’Brien’s Irish Chocolate Cafe, where the idea is clear (decadent, rich Irish chocolate treats in a luxuriously chic setting) and the chocolate is superb. Belgian Courvuture chocolate hand crafted in Ireland into many award winning boxed chocolate collections. Lily O’Brien’s might be fairly new to New York City, but it is already a legend in Ireland and throughout Europe and Australia. The idea for the company began in the eighties, after a trip to South Africa sparked Mary Ann O’Brien’s interest in chocolate. After having her daughter Lily, for whom the company is named, Mary Ann used her time at home to develop her recipe using not much more than a wooden spoon, two pans, and her ingenuity. Now, for the first time, all of their treats are available here in the U.S. in their brand new, fabulously designed cafe. The Cafe faces onto beautiful Bryant Park at 36 West 40th street, right next door to the Bryant park hotel. The famous hotel has already begun to use their chocolates as part of their guest services.

Lily O’Brien’s Chocolates have won numerous international culinary awards, become the choice chocolate of over 22 airlines, and earned Mary Ann continued recognition for her business acumen and the quality of her chocolate. She is in New York this week, December 3rd , 2009 to accept an award for Irish enterprise of the year and the annual Business and Finance magazine awards held at the NYSE. Lily O’Brien’s Chocolate Café located in Bryant Park at 36 W. 40th St is the first of its kind, providing an authentic Irish flair to its menu of espresso -based coffees, teas, desserts, seasonal drinks, and hot chocolate, in addition to their full collection of beautifully boxed chocolates. As the winter chills set in and New Yorkers sweep into shops craving something sweet and warm to brighten their days, Lily O’Brien’s Irish manager and company shareholder, Cathal Queally (pronounced KA-hal Kwee-lee) lets us in on his tricks to keeping Lily’s famous hot chocolate perfect.

The first step: Keep it real, as in real chocolate. “If you want your hot chocolate to be creamy and not full of powdery bits or corn syrup, you have to have real melted chocolate in there,” says Cathal. At Lily O’Brien’s you can choose between two types of hot chocolate: a milk chocolate with 37% cocoa solids or a dark chocolate with 56% cocoa solids. Both types were specially developed by Mary Ann, made with 100% real Belgian chocolate, and are available for purchase in store for $14.99 for a 35.3oz bag.

Next, you’ll want to carefully melt the chocolate. At Lily O’Brien’s, the chocolate buttons are melted slowly at 120 degrees Fahrenheit in their special melting kettles, but if you’re at home, Cathal recommends using a bain-marie to achieve the perfect temperature and avoid burning the chocolate. Then, for every two ounces of chocolate add ten ounces of hot milk or heavy cream, depending on your preference. Hint: Try steaming the milk in an espresso maker. It will add an airy texture to the hot chocolate. Don’t be afraid to whisk heavily after the chocolate and the milk have been combined. A heavy whisking will help incorporate everything and give the drink a frothy, fluffy consistency that stirring can’t. Lily O’Brien’s are proud of their Hot chocolate and Mocha beverages and have already created a huge loyal following for their new Café.

For toppings, Lily O’Brien’s adds whipped cream, marshmallows, nuts, and chocolate flakes. For a special treat, Cathal, who is the proud uncle of fifteen nieces and nephews, recommends laying out these (and even more) toppings in small bowls as it would be in an ice cream store and letting them choose which toppings they’ll have. “The kids will love it! They’ll think it’s like a sundae bar for their hot chocolate.”
The café has one of the best Hot chocolates in the City and its location, looking onto Bryant park, makes the café the perfect pit stop during a busy day shopping or Ice skating in the area. Also, not to be missed, is their Mochas. As Cathal Queally puts it ” A real mocha is a Hot Chocolate with a shot of espresso, and not a brewed coffee with a shot of concentrated chocolate syrup”
There you have it! Try these tricks with friends and family, and come into Lily O’Brien’s for a special treat during those cold days in the city. Because no matter where you are, Ireland or Bryant Park, you’ll find a hot chocolate that takes you home. For more information, stop by the Lily O’Brien’s Chocolate Café website,

Phone: (212) 575-0631
Email: [email protected]