Thursday, August 25, 2011

SWEET SPOT: Max Brenner - Chocolate by the Bald Man

Chocolate, hence the name of my blog, is clearly one of my favorite things. Therefore when I stumbled up on Max Brenner's Chocolate by the Bald Man in Union Square, I knew that I had reached my paradise. Merely walking into the restaurant, I was engulfed by the smell of freshly baked chocolate treats. At the storefront is a little chocolate shop which sells everything ranging from s'mores kits and chocolate waffle cone gifts to T-shirts with quirky phrases such as "Chocolate is good for you" (which I actually purchased... maybe in hopes that it would be true).
{"Chocolate is good for you" T-shirt}

{Chocolate Shop goodies}
Max Brenner, known as the bald man is attempting to create his own "chocolate culture" in which chocolate is not only meant to be taste, it is supposed to be experienced, causing a flow of emotions and sensations. Steering away from some of the more traditional uses of chocolate on his menu, he incorporates a chocolate ranch to complement the onion rings. Onion rings and chocolate are my weaknesses so therefore quickly ordered this unique combo to test it out.
{Black & Tan Beer Battered Vidalia Rings w/ Dark Chocolate Ranch Dressing}

The inspiration behind this unusual pairing was that Max believed chocolate is too often sold in it's conventional way, he wanted to "free" it and let people experience the sweetness in an entirely new way.

For our main courses, we ordered the grilled asparagus crepe, as well as the rosen deli smoked turkey crepe. As for dessert, the most important part of this meal, I had an incredibly hard time choosing which of the chocolate specialities I wanted. After browsing the menu again for about 20 minutes I I finally concluded that I wanted to try the chocolate pizza because it looked so incredibly delicious when I passed by it walking in. I was definitely not let down when I tried "the works" pizza, buried under a mountain of toppings including Max's double chocolate melting chunks, crunchy hazelnut bits, bananas, peanut butter, and roasted marshmallows. Experimentation is one of his main guidelines, there are no rules when it come to cooking with chocolate, anything goes.
{"The Works" Chocolate Pizza}

Max Brenner wants to ensure that leaving the restaurant all 5 of your senses have been filled with by chocolate. Seeing, touching, tasting, smelling, and even hearing chocolate he feels is the only way embrace yourself in the full chocolate experience he is hoping to accomplish. Simply writing this blog takes me back into that "chocolate mood", craving for something sweet.
{Inside of Max Brenner's Chocolate Bar"}

Starting out as once a small chocolate shop in France that was said once looked "more like top fashion designer's boutique than a chocolate shop",  he has widely expanded over the years into the American market. Of course he couldn't have achieved this much success without the expose to leading fashion designers including Thierry Mugler and Jean Paul G. while in Paris.

Have you ever been to Max Brenner before? What did you order? Everything on the menu looks amazing!

1 comment:

  1. So happy I came across this post! I love Max Brenner's - but to be honest I don't think I've ever had a real meal there. If you go back definitely try some of the waffles or crepes. So decadent and fun!