March 23, 2008

Chicago: Hot Chocolate

We took C out to Hot Chocolate, since he'd never been there, and we love it, and J&D also love it, and it was just a lovefest all around.

German pretzel with cheddar/smoked beer dipping sauce, to die for. Bowl got licked.

Green salad with pears and goat cheese, very nice. Spinach salad with duck salami, extremely nice. Wedge salad with thousand island and crabmeat and lardons, frigging perfect. YUM.

Somehow some breadsticks with herbed butter showed up for free. Also tasty, particularly since the butter seemed to have some green garlic in it.

Pleasant Ridge Reserve cheese baked inside brioche and served with roasted turnips and sauteed kale was just dreamy. Normally I wouldn't order something so theoretically mundane, but we'd had dinner at Custom House the previous night (more on that to come), and I felt like something a little less insane, particularly given the chocolate madness I knew was coming. This cheesy little morsel is worth giving up the exotica for: the brioche is dark brown and almost nutty, the cheese just stinky and melty enough, and the vegetables keep it all from getting too out of hand.

Lamb with krema kase and flatbread: this i thought was tasty, but perhaps a bit salty. It's a bit like gourmet gyros, which is perfectly fine, but not the best thing on this menu.

Roast chicken was lovely, though I only had a bite of the perfectly crisp, salty skin. Nothing left on the plate once D got through with it.

Braised short rib with brussels sprouts was moist, tender and delicious, though i've not been feeling much in the mood for braised meats of late.

Mac and cheese was actually slightly under-awesome this time, lacking some indefinable thing that has in the past pushed it from yummy to mind-bending.

Dark chocolate hot chocolate: yum. Half-and-half with espresso: mocha yum, vroom vroom.

Warm chocolate souffle cake with salted caramel ice cream and pretzel continues to be the perfect dessert. Be still my heart.

Sorbets were amusing, since we ordered coconut and passionfruit, but received spiced pear (excellent) and something quite odd but definitely not passionfruit. When we mentioned it to the waiter, he checked for us, and it turned out the kitchen hadn't been happy with their passionfruits and made kumquat instead. To make up for that, he brought us two more, a green apple and a blood orange, both good, but that blood orange was best of show, mmmmmmmm.

At that point we were so full we were waddling, but we still managed to get up to Metro in time to see a middle-aged X rock a house full of middle-aged punks.... which was totally awesome. \m/

Posted by foodnerd at March 23, 2008 08:42 PM

I absolutely love Hot Chocolate. I've only been there once because I'm too busy to go out much, but it's very high on my list of restaurants to return to! I drooled over the chocolate souffle cake - my absolute favorite dessert there.

PS: I love reading your blog: keep writing!

Posted by: Katherine at April 20, 2008 09:09 PM
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