I love you Max Brenner. – New York Restaurant Week , Part 2

IMG_6585It’s Day 2 in New York and this is the one place that I want to get to most.  We missed our reservation for lunch here the day before, and we were going to do everything in our power to make in on this day.

Max Brenner, and the Chocolate by the Bald man concept was developed by Max Fitchner and Oded Brenner, chocolatiers who combined their names.  As owners of ten handmade chocolate shops near Tel Aviv, they worked together for  several successful years, before Brenner eventually bought out Fitchner and the Chocolate by the Bald man concept and adopted the name of “Max”.

In 2000, he opened the first chocolate café in a trendy area of Sydney, Australia.  The franchise now operates in Singapore, the Phillipines and several locations in the U.S, recently opening a café in Bethesda, Maryland in July 2013.

Located at 841 Broadway right at Union Square, Max Brenner’s is considered to be desert destination, a sweet place not to be missed.

It’s late Saturday afternoon and the place is packed with a surprisingly mature dining crowd, older teens, couples and families.  I had expected packs of screaming children loaded up on sugar, but this was not the case.

The restaurant is large, spanning three dining levels, with a chocolate bar area and a chocolate boutique. We are seated in the second level of the restaurant where we can see all the all the food and desserts coming out of the kitchen.

I was ready. I had practically memorized the menu and constructed the order of my meal in my head well in advance of my visit, having reviewed the online menu several times. Yeah, it’s a little obsessive, but it’s dessert and you know how I am.

Our strategy was to pace ourselves from a caloric standpoint to make sure our capacity to consume a really big desert.  To this end we both order salads as our main course.

I didn’t expect much of the salad in a place like this, but we were both pleasantly surprised.  The Deep Bleu Cobb Salad arrives piled in a cylindrical tube that the waiter pulls up releasing a freshly tossed salad.  The Caesar is tasty with twists of chill and avocados.  The garnish is an Asiago cheese crisp, it’s delicious.

The same effort that goes into the desert also extends to the mains.  While the salads were really good, they were a formality really, a justification for dessert.

The dessert menu is a cerlox bound booklet, far more detailed and colourful than the food and drink menu.  We look, we turn the pages, we leaf through again, we discuss, we really can’t make up our mind, but finally we do, choosing the hot chocolate in the custom designed Hug Mug and the Pearl Sugar Chocolate Waffle.

The hot chocolate is like drinking warm chocolate pudding, creamy and sweet.  The waffle is accompanied by chocolate coated rice crisps and warm chocolate sauce.

This will be a regular spot for me with any future visit to NYC.  In fact we enjoyed so much we had a second lunch there.  While it’s whimsical and fun, the food is really good  and the desserts speak for themselves.

Hover over the images for descriptions or click on the images below to launch the slide show of our second visit.  Enjoy!

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