Bubbly chef/owner Mindy Segal
of MK pastry-chef fame brands her super-fly wait staff with tight blue jeans, dark chocolate tees, and funky Puma tennis shoes at her dessert-focused haven. In addition to dishing up sweets you've never dreamed of, she's also created an incredibly unique dinner menu that changes weekly. (Be prepared: If you go once, love an item and come back for it, more than likely it's already gone with the wind).
Desserts are the primary focus at this decidedly non-smoking venue, all built around some familiar ingredients, but each emblazoned with an artistic spin. Rhubarb Pot Pie, anyone? How could you beat a flaky crusted rhubarb pie delivered in a small crock, and served dripping with house-made sour cream ice cream? Or, how 'bout the Banana Napoleon? Try this mama on for size: Caramelized bananas mixed with a yumyum banana coffee cake (with a butter and sugar topping), then layered between graham crackers and served with a banana ice cream. Man, it hurts just to say it!
The talented kitchen staff throws out a fresh batch of dinner goodies every single week as well. Arctic char (a polka-dotty silver fish from the salmon family found in lakes a mere 500 miles from the North Pole) comes beautifully grilled, served alongside English peas and a new-kid-on-the-block: Israeli couscous. The seared Kobe beef skirt steak is the popular house favorite, and even the wine list (which is thoughtfully labeled for those who'd like to try wine that is crisp, chewy or fruity) is on an ever-rotating clock, but always thoughtfully selected with the newest menu in mind.
With a hot chocolate flight (topped with homemade marshmallows) making even the toughest sweet tooth swoon and a soon-to-be counter-style cafe in the works for lunchtime, count on Hot Chocolate being around (and packed) for the long haul. Sunday nights play host to "CheeseBeerChocolate," featuring just that: artisan beer, cheese and chocolate. Blissfully, they prepare all portions with this simple intent: "When you're done eating, you will be full." God love 'em.
Average cost: $21-$30
Centerstage Reviewer: Misty Tosh