Slideshow: Staff Picks: The Chocolates We'd Love To Get For Valentine's Day

The Meadow
The Meadow
"I love the chocolate selection at The Meadow, which is based in Portland, Oregon but also has a shop in the West Village in New York. The word "artisan" gets tossed around a lot these days, especially with regards to chocolate, but Mark Bitterman and his team take the word seriously. At any given time they have 30 to 40 single origin chocolates from small producers that make some incredible stuff. It's not cheap, but good chocolate never is, and there's something special about giving someone a bar from a producer they've never heard of before. And getting to share."—Max Falkowitz, NY Editor

[Photograph: Max Falkowitz]

Cacao in Portland
Cacao in Portland
"The most chocolate-intense experience I've ever had was inside Cacao, a chocolate shop in Portland. It's like a temple devoted to all things chocolate with perfectly wrapped bars on display, goldleaf-adorned truffles under a glass case, and warm, velvety drinking chocolates to sip in tiny mugs. Even the air must be chocolate-infused in there. One of my favorite discoveries at the shop was the "Triple Cacao" bar from Madre Chocolates in Hawaii. It's a trifecta of chocolateness with bold bits of cacao nibs and a tangy, raisiny cacao pulp inside the bar. Really awesome and interesting, and thankfully they also sell it at my nearby Stinky Bklyn cheese shop."—Erin Zimmer, National Managing Editor

"Cacao in Portland is a great place for serious chocolate—they feature a crazy assortment of hand crafted bean-to-bar chocolates, and owner Aubrey Lindley is super-passionate about all of his wares. I also love Kee's Chocolates in New York, and I'm becoming quickly addicted to the miniature chocolate-salted-caramel tarts at Dandelion Chocolate in San Francisco."—Maggie Hoffman, Drinks Editor

[Photograph: Maggie Hoffman]

Recchiuti Chocolates
Recchiuti Chocolates
"I love just about everything from Recchiuti Confections...especially of the chocolate-covered genre. (Almonds, caramels, peanut butter pucks...)"—Carey Jones, Senior Managing Editor

[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Varsano's Chocolate
Varsano's Chocolate
"I love Varsano's Chocolate in the West Village. Not only are the chocolates amazing, the owner is the sweetest (no pun intended). The chocolate covered pretzel rods are the perfect mix of sweet and salty. Anything with hazelnut is good too. You really can't go wrong. They also have cute themed chocolates too—cars, trucks, fun holiday things, etc."—Jennifer Weinberg, Ad Sales Director

[Photograph: aloha orangeneko via Flickr]

Beurre & Sel
Beurre & Sel
"I'm making a big ol' steak on Valentines Day. But I'd be pretty happy if the boyfriend got me anything chocolate from Dorie Greenspan's Beurre & Sel at the Essex Street Market. (Hint , hint)."—Ben Fishner, Ad Operations Administrator

[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Lilac Chocolates or Pierre Marcolini
Lilac Chocolates or Pierre Marcolini
"The kid in me wants a box from Lilac Chocolates, which was originally a few blocks from where I went to lower and middle school and was always a favorite after-school snack. Favorites include the chocolate covered orange peel, caramel bars, and, of course, the kid pops. My more refined (read: expensive?) half wants a box of assorted chocolates from belgian chocolatier Pierre Marcolini."—Carrie Vasios, Sweets Editor.

[Photograph: Kathy Chan]

MarieBelle
MarieBelle
"I'm not a box-of-chocolates type of girl, but Mariebelle in Soho has some sweet-looking bonbons."—Jessica Leibowitz, Videographer

[Photograph: Kathy YL Chan]

Forget Chocolate, Try Fruit
Forget Chocolate, Try Fruit
"I can't say I'm much of a chocolate eater, and frankly, neither is my wife (I swear I'm not just saying that). On the other hand, we both love fruit, particularly when it's tropical or citrus. For the ultimate Valentine's day dessert, we'd probably just throw together a big fruit basket packed with cherimoya, granadilla, mangosteen, and pitaya. Or fine, just a couple of great grapefruits would do us just fine. Winter is prime citrus season!"—Kenji Lopez-Alt, Chief Creative Officer

[Photograph: Kenji Lopez-Alt]