Hot Chocolate - Vosges, Moonstruck, Others?
I'm visiting Chicago for the first time in a week or so. I'm a big hot chocolate fan. I know there are several excellent chocolate shops in Chicago (Vosges and Moonstruck being two).
Is there hot chocolate good? I'd like to buy a cup prepared at the store, not the mix. I'm looking for hot chocolate similar to what you'd find at L.A. Burdick or Chantico at Starbucks.
What are some other good places for hot chocolate? How is the Ghiradelli shop downtown?
Moonstruck, yes!!! Vanille on North Clybourn is REAL european rich hot chocolate and you can get a croissant to boot. The Ghiradeli shop downtown is a cookie cutter of the other shops. The hot chocolate is okay. For the sinful treat my original recommendations stand, good dependable normal hot chocolate-starbucks with a shot of caramel or raspberry. YUM!!!!
We think Hot Chocolate is great and hope it succeeds.
On the North Shore Chocolate Box in Winnetka has great homemade hot chocolate. It's not sweet but extremely chocolatey...and they have homemade marshmallows in three or four different flavors. You could do worse than a spicy hot chocolate with cinnamon marshmallows.
Why not try the restaurant called Hot Chocolate?!!?
I went recently, there are 5-6 types of hot chocolate served.
Started w/mussels done in a green curry, diced red pepper, creamy broth that Im pretty sure contained coconut milk. Mussels were quite good and fresh, diced red pepper was not necessary except as eye appeal. The creamy curry was very good to dip the piece of crusty bread into.
Next was Napoleon of Canasta Pardo consisting of crispy phyllo, caramelized apples and a date puree with shards of sharp, rich, moist cheddar cheese. The cheese was heavenly and as I ate, I came to the conclusion that I wanted only the cheese (and some more of that crusty bread). I think next time I will go with the cheese selection.
Entrée of Kobe Beef. Unless the Gov has relaxed their laws, I did not think that true Japanese Kobe was allowed into the US, so Ill assume it was Waygu or some American Kobe. Entrée consisted of seared Kobe skirt steak, string potato fries, olive oil roasted grape tomatoes w/a creamy mini cup of a cheese sauce not mentioned on the menu but Im guessing some sort of gorgonzola. I was fortunate to have Kobe beef in Japan a few times but it was not skirt steak, it just melted in my mouth. The Kobe effect with this dish, a semi tough skirt steak was lost on me. None the less it is a good cut of beef and was even better w/a bit of the cheese sauce on it.
With all that I only had room to try a small hot chocolate called a Black & Tan which is 1/3 hot fudge and 2/3 medium hot chocolate. Quite tasty, I wish I had room for the Banana, which was graham cracker tuiles layered w/caramelized bananas, roasted banana cream, butterscotch, hot fudge and a one banana, two banana surprise.
Other starters included: Rabbit Rillette, Ruree (puree?) of Asparagus, Chopped Tuna Salad, Roasted Beet & Goat Cheese salad, Mixed Greens Salad.
Other Entrées included: Brie in Brioche served warm with a salad of seasonal mushrooms, asparagus, and parsley. Tuna Melt sandwich with mayo, wild capers, roasted red peppers, havarti cheese on toasted ciabatta. Chicken and Bacon sandwich w/avocado and honey mustard aioli.
As you can imagine with Mindy Segal, there are a ton of desserts and many people were ordering just the sweets.
Dont sit at the bar if you dont have to, I found the chairs uncomfortable.
The only real negative was the fork design. It just never fit well in my hand. First time Ive ever had problems with utensils!
1747 North Damen
re: Sweet Willie
Hot Chocolate is amazing and I can't believe no one posted after you about this place. I loved the colors, the wait staff uniforms, the lighting, the music, and of course the food. We went for dessert but ending up ordering the mac and cheese and the mussels. They were so yummy. I wasn't sure the savory stuff was going to be good because all I heard about the place was Mindy Segal opened it. So we went for the desserts. The desserts were fantastic. We took home the cookie platter to go intending to give them to our baby sitter but ate them on the way home and it's not even that far of a drive. I highly recommend you check it out. All of you even if you aren't chocolate fans, there are plenty of other options.
Next time try the savory stuff. Honestly, I think Hot Chocolate should win an award for "most improved" restaurant. I was not a fan at first of their food menu, but it has gotten better and better. They have a dish that is basically like brioche that is stuffed and baked with Pleasant Ridge Reserve cheese. It is sweet, nutty, savory, creamy, and awesome. Honestly, eat a few bites of that and you may not even want the dessert. It is incredible. They have a nice well edited beer list.
Sorry to post this on a hot chocolate discussion!
There is a Ghiradelli by WaterTower, but you can do better!
Margies is fabulous for hot chocolate, not to mention their homemade chocolate fudge and ice cream. Very fun and kitchzy. You will have to travel a bit (it is at Western and Milwaukee) But it is fantastic.
Vogses is good, but gourmet in taste. They have a selection of 3 hot chocolates...dark with a bit of aztec spiciness...white chocolate...and milk chocolate (tahitian vanilla?). I can't remember what the adds are in the other two since my fav is dark. But Vosges doesn't really have a sit down atmosphere.
Moonstruck was ok for me...I did not really dig the almond flavoring.
You might also try the chocolate fountain at the Ritz Carlton. It runs at night in the Garden Room. Beautiful view of the city...comfortable setting..and all the chocolate fondue you can eat!
Have a great time!
53 W. Jackson Blvd
Chicago, IL 60604
This is in downtown Chicago, at Jackson & Dearborn. I don't think they're open real late, maybe closes after evening rush hour. Check with them.
3123 N. Broadway
Chicago, IL 60657
Take either (1) a northbound #36 Broadway bus from downtown or near north and get off at Barry, or (2) take the northbound Red or Brown Line el trains to the Belmont stop, catch a #77 Belmont bus eastward to Broadway, walk 1.5 blocks south. Depending on traffic, travel could take 20-40 minutes. They're open 6a-10 Mon.-Thurs., 6a-11p Fri., 7a-11p Sat., and 7a-10p Sun.
They create a chocolate base at the shop and produce the richest hot chocolate; I cannot imagine a richer one anywhere. To experience death by chocolate encourage them to put as much chocolate sauce as they can on top of the whipped cream, it won't take much pleading. Regretably, they've never created a version for home use.
Moonstruck has a great hot chocolate that is infused with a subtle almond flavor. I forget what they call it, but it is really good...rich, but you can still drink the whole cup. Plus they give you a nice little piece of chocolate with every drink, a nice touch. The other nice thing about Moonstruck is that they encourage you to sit and enjoy. Vosges is more if you wanted to take it on the run. That being said, I think it would be perfect to get a cup of hot chocolate at Moonstruck to go, and walk with it a block to Millenium Park and enjoy the day!
At Vosges, I prefer their Mexican hot chocolate. It has a nice spice to it. I have brought the mixes home, though, and cannot replicate the flavor of having it in the shop.