When an invite to sample artisan pizza at NYC’s very own Adoro Lei showed up in my inbox, I couldn’t resist responding with an enthusiastic ‘yes!’ If there are two things I love more than anything else in the world, it’s pizza and chocolate. Luckily for me, Adoro Lei wasn’t making me choose between the two at this particular tasting.

Adoro Lei’s very own Chef Mario Gentile partnered with famed chocolatier Jacques Torres to create two unique chocolate-infused pizzas. The Giacomo is a savory chocolate pizza, and the Henriette is a sweet dessert pizza. The masterminds behind these brilliant pizzas have stores down the street from one another, so the collaboration between the two seemed natural.

coffee, wine, beer, espresso
Claire Waggoner

Although I visited Adoro Lei for a private event, it was clear by the full bar and hum of voices that the restaurant is beloved by many. Over the swell of conversation, I could hear the clink of glasses as the bartender served up refreshing cocktails and the DJ playing a variety of recent pop hits from his nook near the bar.

While the cozy atmosphere of the restaurant was enticing, I was eager to see what food Adoro Lei had to offer. Much to my delight, every dish that came across my plate screamed "gourmet." Before sampling the chocolate pizzas, we were given a few small plates from the restaurant’s regular menu to sample.

vegetable, salad, fish, tomato, cheese
Claire Waggoner

Up first was the Burrata Divine, a lovely dish of Burrata cheese, eggplant, tomato, arugula, and the most incredible truffle honey drizzle. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this dish. I’m not a huge eggplant fan, but it was cooked to perfection and melt-in-your-mouth tender. The creamy cheese blended well with the sweet honey drizzle, making it one of my favorite dishes of the night. 

Claire Waggoner

The Truffle Rice Ball and Adoro Slider came next. The rice ball tasted surprisingly complex for what it was (a cheesy ball of rice). The exterior was crisp, and the interior fell apart in your mouth in one cheesy, gooey ball—simply amazing. The Adoro Slider featured a veal and pork meatball that was spiced just enough, but not too much. I could still taste the meat itself, which was divine with the creamy ricotta on the toasted bun. 

avocado, corn
Claire Waggoner

The next course featured the Pasta Purses, which were filled with cheese, pear, and a brown butter sage sauce. The sweetness of the filling contrasted nicely with the earthy walnut chunks on the plate, and it made me sad I wasn’t allowed to lick the plate. 

prosciutto, salad, ham, olive oil
Claire Waggoner

After a series of delicious appetizers, we finally came to the main event: the pizza. First, I tried the Casanova, a traditional cheese and tomato pizza that tasted exactly like the slices I had eaten in Florence. And the Pietro’s salty prosciutto and Percorino topping blended beautifully with the truffle oil and cherry tomatoes on the pizza and left me wanting another slice. 

pizza, ham, cheese, bacon, meat, crust, mushroom
Photo courtesy of Adoro Lei

As much as I wanted another slice of the Pietro, I knew I had to save some room for what came next: the Giacamo. This pizza was absolutely stunning. The cocoa crust featured Jacques Torres' cocoa and nibs, which I crunched down on every few bites. The bitterness from the cocoa was unbelievably good paired with the house made mozzarella and fig puree on the pizza. All of that combined with the caramelized onions and bacon made for a show-stopping pizza, to say the least. 

chocolate, cream, sweet, strawberry, berry, pastry, cake, crepe
Photo courtesy of Adoro Lei

Last, but not least, was the Henriette. Featuring the same cocoa crust that wowed me in the Giacomo, the Henriette is first fried, then topped with Jacques Torres’ chocolate ice cream, fresh cream, and berries. The chocolate ice cream was amazingly rich (as in, I-can-only-have-one-scoop rich) and the slightly melted ice cream on the warm, crunchy cocoa crust created a variety of textures that exploded pleasantly in my mouth.

I couldn’t be more thrilled about Adoro Lei’s partnership with Jacques Torres. It’s obvious that both Chef Mario and Chef Jacques spent a lot of time perfecting these recipes, and the influence from both culinary geniuses can be seen in both the Giacomo and the Henriette.

I foresee a bright future for these two chefs and eagerly anticipate another stellar collaboration between the two. Both pizzas will be available to the public September 8th, so be sure and try a slice while you can.