Chocolate by the bald man (Union Square)


So this week I was introduced to chocolate by the bald man, Max Brenner.  We came here with dessert on the brain, but since we hadn’t had dinner, we had both.  As soon as you open the door and take one step in through the threshold, you are basically consumed by the smell of sweet chocolate.  The smell was so smooth and comforting, you felt like you were cuddling with the it.  The ambience was fun and could be romantic due to the low lighting, but make no mistake it was very cocoa-centric.  We approached the hostess stand around 9-something ish on a weeknight and she was very friendly despite there being a mob of patiently waiting diners around.  10 minute wait–not too bad, but it was only the two of us.  As you wait, there is a chocolate shop and chocolate bar that you can peruse.  There’s everything from packaged chocolate goods, to flowing chocolate fountains, to a chocolate “pizza.”  If that isn’t enough chocolate to send you into a sugar high, there are syringes for sale for you to get your fix on the road.


Onto the food…  So naturally we picked our dessert first because you have to tailor your dinner around the most important course 🙂  We decided to go all out and opt for the full-blown Sharing (Tasting for Two) dessert, so that meant we needed to keep dinner light.  So we got the Smoky Dry Rubbed Chicken Wings (w/ creamy bleu cheese dipping sauce) and the Max’s Sandwich of the Seas (salmon burger).  First up, the wings.  You have no idea how excited I was to sink my teeth into these since it was a combination of two of my favorite things smokey flavor + dry rub…YUM!  So we get the wings in all of their sticky, dark glory.  I bite into one and….I’m so disappointed.  The flavor was fantastic with the spicy, sweet combination; however it was texture of the wings that were sub-par.  When you bite into wings, you need the meat to be moist with the outside to be a little crunchy.  Unfortunately, eventhough the crunchiness was there, the inside was dried out…and not the it-can-be-overlooked dried, out.  The meat was really dry and tougher than it should have been.  Very disappointing  because this dish had full potential of being a hit. 




Next up, the salmon burger.  Now, their bad on the menu description because it was supposed to be “pan-seared” but rather, we got a fried piece of salmon.  Not a good start, especially for the 98% of NYrs who are health-conscious.  The dish had potential, but the fried fish had a thick crust on it.  Fish is very delicate, so if you were going to fry it then it needs to be flashed not deep fried.  If we wanted commercial fried fish, we’d go to the frozen section of the supermarket and pick up a box of Gordon’s Fisherman fish sticks.  The red-pepper aioli (which we got in the side because we didn’t want the ‘wich doused) had a good flavor and the cocoa-chili dusted waffle fries saved the meal.  They were delicious with a perfectly cooked crunch and the subtle flavor of both chili and cocoa.  It was a good enough meal, but we saw lots of pizzas being carried out from the kitchen so that’s what we will share next time.

Now onto the main dish…the dessert.  It was a chocolate extravaganza.  The dish consisted of chocolate fondue (you pick one…of course we picked two for an additional charge), fruit, marshmallows, a chocolate eggroll, white and milk chocolate wafer-like “barks,” banana spit-waffle, macaroon and, in case this wasn’t enough chocolate for you, a mini-carafe of more chocolate for you to drizzle over your feast.  We chose the milk and white chocolate fondues.  The chocolate was rich, creamy and tempered perfectly.  My favorite dipping items were definitely the fruit, macaroon and the light, flaky “barks.” 

Overall a pretty good experience here.  If you have guests from out of town, this place would definitely be a hit.  It was fun, service was very good and who doesn’t like chocolate fondue??  By the time the night was over, I was ready to walk it off…all the way to Philadelphia.


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