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Road Trip: Ghyslain Bistro

We’ve seen the meticulous chocolates: adorable butterflies, turtles, and horseshoes hand-painted with feathery brushes of color. But Ghyslain’s dining component sits behind the wide, ground-level doors of an early-1900s brick warehouse in Richmond’s historic Depot District. French Canadian chef-owner Ghyslain Maurais set up shop to produce his stunning chocolates in nearby Union City in 1998; this full-fledged Richmond bistro opened in 2008, and two Louisville locations followed. Weekend dinners offer a short list of precision-plated entrees—such as a mixed grill with New York strip and two kinds of sausage—in addition to a well-vetted selection of charcuterie and cheeses. Daily options are more extensive, consisting mainly of classic French sandwiches, crepes, salads, and soups. (When’s the last time you saw vichyssoise on a menu?) For dessert, the exquisite Technicolor tarts and edible Art Deco visions are so artistic, they’re worthy of framing. The Charlemagne, a showstopper that takes days to assemble, is constructed of orange syrup–infused chocolate cake and chocolate-hazelnut mousse encased in shingles of white and dark chocolate and showered with chocolate shavings. Ooh la la.

416 N. 10th St., Richmond, 765-966-3344,

Photo by Tony Valainis

This article appeared in the November 2013 issue.