July 22, 2007

Hot Chocolate [Chicago]

After a great debate about Hot Chocolate versus Tru, we settled on the former, since a dessert tasting menu would have been too decadent for the night ahead of us.

We arrived at 10:30pm and nabbed the last open table, an hour and a half before closing. There were steady arrivals even after we were seated and the place was buzzing all the way up to midnight.

Desserts are separated into chocolate, seasonal, and lighter offerings with most plated desserts ringing in at a flat $11.

Three girls, three appetites, and three desserts later:

medium...milk chocolate with a touch of dark chocolate

[commentary from Yoshi coming soon!]


The s'more tartlet took the gold on this dish with a fluffy bed of marshmallow sitting atop a chocolate graham cracker crust. Not a single one of us could finish the chocolate-covered bananas, whose smoked almond crust reminded us too much of meat. Plantains may have been more successful, but I'm not sure they would have held their own against those powerful almonds! The chocolate fudgsicle sorbet overpowered its banana counterpart in the terrine.

My favorite of the four-dessert tasting was the cherry sorbet, which reminded me of cherry pie filling, which always has the perfect ratio of tart to sweet. I found the bitter Kriek (Belgian beer fermented with Morello cherries) ice cream to be out of place for a dessert palate, while the crumbeline was nothing out of the ordinary. The warm brown butter crepe torte was like a delicate cinnamon roll with the cherries cooked in port giving the dish a somber finish.

I am always open-minded to new possibilities in food, but some of Hot Chocolate's combinations fell flat for me. While most items were good to great (with the exception of the inedible chocolate-smoked almond-banana), the menu was more captivating than the delivery.

Hot Chocolate
1747 N Damen
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 489-1747

1 comment:

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