Bean There

Spagnvola Chocolate Shop in Gaithersburg with Chocolate Bars, Truffles, BonBons and Intelligentsia Coffee

By now, most restaurants have dabbled in farm-to-table dining. Many are even pouring farm-to-glass cocktails. But farm-to-junk-food is a new one for us.

The owners of the new SPAGnVOLA in Gaithersburg create chocolate truffles and bars using cacao from their land in the Dominican Republic. They import the beans through Baltimore and process the chocolate from scratch in the basement of their small shop.

Husband-and-wife chocolatiers Eric and Crisoire Reid create 70, 75 and 80 percent bars ($8) made with a blend of Criollo, Trinitario and Forastero beans. The bars aren't for wimps: Each offers deep berry flavors along with dry coffee notes that deepen as the cacao percentages increase.

Small-batch truffles ($2) are dipped in the moderately intense 70 percent chocolate. Fillings include a potent dash of Dominican rum, smooth honey in dark chocolate ganache, and granules of sea salt in milk chocolate, which coax out the chocolate's fruit aromas and flavors.

Baristas pour expert coffee drinks using Intelligentsia beans. It should go without saying that the best choice is a mocha ($4), which you can request with thick house chocolate syrup.

SPAGnVOLA, 360 Main St., Ste. 100, Gaithersburg; 240-654-6972 or spagnvola.com