Sometimes the most amazing things are hiding right in plain sight. Case in point: the bountiful basket full of hunks of bittersweet Guittard chocolate right on the counter at Java Nation in Bridgehampton.
San Francisco’s Guittard is a fifth-generation, family-owned chocolate maker. Its founder, Etienne Guittard from Tournus, France, came to California during the Gold Rush. But instead of ore, he found success in his family’s chocolate that he brought with him, launching the company in 1868. Today, the brand is renowned with serious bakers around the country, both professional and serious home cooks.
Owner Andres Bedini’s Java Nation is a low-fi spot—they have no website, and the location, while located next to the Bridgehampton railroad station, is easy to miss in its quiet location in a small, industrial parking lot. What the place is about is doing a few things really well. The excellent coffee, flaky pastries, and well-worn, comfortable leather couches in the demure back room are enough of a draw, but the chocolate is a surprise you won’t find at any other East End coffee spot.
The hefty chunks are sold for $14 a pound. Some like to buy a piece to nibble on alongside their caffeinated selections; those in the know buy it for baking. If you’re in the market for the latter and the usual suspects in the supermarket aren’t cutting it, head over to Java Nation for a bit of their secret stash. Grab a bonus bag of their house-roasted beans for coffee to go with the chunky chocolate chip cookies you’ll make with your chunk of Guittard—just try to save some for the rest of us.