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Godiva Chocolate Martini 

The Cheesecake Factory, 1062 St. Louis Galleria, 314-721-0505

Chocolate. Light of our lives, fire of our loins. Our sin. Our soul. Choc-o-late. Pucker the lips, jump back to click the throat, then to tap the tip of the tongue twice. Choc. Oh! Lot. Mere words cannot convey the heavenly pleasure that arrives with the sensual drip of semisweet chocolate on the tongue.

The Cheesecake Factory's Godiva Chocolate Martini is a glory to behold, it's true, even if the idea of grabbing an oh-so-elegant concoction in such an overwhelming, cattle-call atmosphere suggests otherwise. The Factory, located at the Galleria, is all the rage at the mall, and lines of consumers at lunch or dinner pour out of the place. It's not an atmosphere conducive to, say, proposing to your darling, or settling in for a relaxing summer dinner. It's just too crazy in here, too bustling, too, well, Las Vegas to really appreciate the subtlety of a nice chocomartini.

Still, the Factory has a bar, above which sits a TV tuned to CNN, and it's as good a place as any to witness the chaos of a catastrophic power outage, fun to appreciate the irony of watching on an electric idiot box the tribulations of those without power, fun to enjoy a little choco-brownout while watching the blackout. And actually, the Cheesecake Factory has a nice selection of specialty drinks, including a mess of martinis.

They build their chocolate one using Godiva chocolate liqueur, a viscous liquid that rolls out of the bottle; Stolichnaya vodka; and crème de cacao. It's shaken with ice, then poured into a martini glass. What's best, though, is the rim, which is dipped in Godiva chocolate crumbs, so that with every taste a little bit of heaven sticks to your lips, a sort of bliss that makes a wonderful mess as the martini mixes with the chocolate rim, a mess that will inevitably, joyously, melt onto the corner of your mouth, until when you're finished you look like a three-year-old who's just been defeated by a bowl of pudding. If you're with your date, ask her to give you a little tongue bath. You'll both come out victorious.

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