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Decadent Chocolate Saturdays at the Langham Hotel, Boston: What's your feedback?

sweetgrapes Aug 30, 2010 07:41 PM

The Langham Hotel, Boston is gearing up for their 22nd season of the Chocolate Bar, every Saturday from Sept. 11 - June 25. What's your experience with this event?

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  1. greenzebra RE: sweetgrapes Aug 30, 2010 08:16 PM

    It is kind of fun to do once, but honestly I wasn't that impressed. Everything is sweet-sweet-sweet. I was hoping that there might be some things that didn't load on the sugar and that really emphasized the complexity of a good 75% or 80% dark chocolate bar, but there was nothing even close. My recollection is the best items were the petit fours and other little pastries, but everything is so sweet that it was hard to eat too much and so it ends up being a pretty terrible value. There were some more unusual things thrown in for variety - chocolate pasta, chocolate pizza -- but they just seemed kind of like a gimmick, I don't really recall much in the way of flavor complexity or depth.

    That said, I did enjoy myself, but mostly just for the novelty of the thing and the attractiveness and spectacle of the layout. If you want serious chocolate desserts with some thought and creativity in the flavor profile (beyond just sweet-sweet-sweet), I'd spend your money elsewhere; but if you are into the spectacle and novelty of the idea, go for it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: greenzebra
      observor RE: greenzebra May 20, 2011 12:59 AM

      It's interesting that the quality seems suspect, as, call me quick-ro-judge, just looking at the web site and the way the bar is presented, it didn't really seem like it would be high on quality. It sounds like a gimmick...$40, there's no way you could get good value out of that and who could really eat much of that without being sick? It sounds like $40 to feel sick is not a very good time...I'm sure one could get better bang for the buck somewhere else.

    2. b
      blink617 RE: sweetgrapes Aug 31, 2010 04:56 AM

      I've never been, but a dessert-loving friend once described it as "like being set loose in a mediocre pastry shop."

      1. nsenada RE: sweetgrapes Aug 31, 2010 06:37 AM

        I just get annoyed by labeling such desserts or events "decadent," "sinful," "blasphemous," "polyamorous," "Caligula-worthy," etc. Good to know it's nothing to write home (or go to the confessional) about.

        1 Reply
        1. re: nsenada
          StriperGuy RE: nsenada May 20, 2011 05:28 PM

          Hey Ensenada:

          If you here about a truly "Caligula-worthy" food or event I say we hit it!


        2. MC Slim JB RE: sweetgrapes Aug 31, 2010 07:28 AM

          I haven't been to the chocolate orgy since it was Le Meridien, but my grandma really liked it.


          1. h
            hurm RE: sweetgrapes Aug 31, 2010 10:23 AM

            I haven't been in more than 5 years, but I remember the Mexican Chocolate Soup as being fantastic.

            1. c
              CookieLee RE: sweetgrapes May 20, 2011 10:00 AM

              I went once, and agree with everything being somewhat mediocre - with the exception of the one chocolate item, the creme brulee. I'm still pining for it, and I was there a long time ago!

              1. i
                InmanSQ Girl RE: sweetgrapes May 20, 2011 02:16 PM

                The last time I went it was still Le Meridien. Back then it was quite good (at least to me). They had a wide variety of chocolate desserts, from chocolate soup to custom made chocolate crepes. It was definitely all dessert and very rich, but if you made a point of only eating a savory salad as your meal for the day beforehand, you could definitely go in and sample plenty of dishes before you got sweet - overload. My favorite was the chocolate bread pudding made of croissants (sooo good). The trick is to go with friends and treat it like dim sum, where you taste bites of the dishes others bring back to the table, rather than committing to eating a full slice of each cake or ramekin of creme brulee. I apologize if the quality has changed over the years and would defer to hounds who have visited more recently!

                1. TravellingFoodie RE: sweetgrapes May 20, 2011 06:12 PM

                  I went to the Le Meridien event years ago and was impressed with it at the time, with all the different varieties. I have since sampled on a regular basis, at the New York Chocolate Show, great chocolate and don't think it would measure up to what I have been sampling the last several years. I remember having 4-5 full desserts, being very full with sugar, and the price at that time was around $30, so worth it at the time. So, I cannot recommend it at this time. For me right now, chocolate is not about sugar, but about the chocolate itself, whether semi sweet of bittersweet or not sweet at all.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: TravellingFoodie
                    StriperGuy RE: TravellingFoodie May 21, 2011 01:20 AM

                    As you indicate, with all the amazing chocolate available now, these goofy chocolate events to me more have the vibe of quaint blasts from the past for the suburban crowd who want a day in the city and some pampering. The are not really focused towards real chocolate aficionados

                    I can conceive of a hardcore chocolate event, run by a serious chocolatier, perhaps Taza, (still not my bag) . But these hotel-based events are not that.

                    1. re: StriperGuy
                      Chris VR RE: StriperGuy May 21, 2011 04:52 AM

                      Right. Because of course real chocolate aficionados only live in the big city.

                      1. re: Chris VR
                        StriperGuy RE: Chris VR May 21, 2011 06:49 AM

                        That's not what I said.

                        But there is a certain set who come from the burbs, or out of town, for whom a chocolate event at a big hotel is a big deal. I have a hard time conceiving of a lot of downtown dwellers hitting such an event.

                        Suburban dwellers who ARE sophisticated about their cacao, likely would not hit the event either.

                        1. re: StriperGuy
                          Jenny Ondioline RE: StriperGuy May 21, 2011 08:42 AM

                          Actually, back when the quality of the desserts was much higher than it is now, we used to go every spring, and although some around here apparently think Allston is a suburb...

                          1. re: Jenny Ondioline
                            StriperGuy RE: Jenny Ondioline May 21, 2011 11:36 AM

                            Heck, I live in Belmont, which probably qualifies... Allston is da big city for sure.

                          2. re: StriperGuy
                            Chris VR RE: StriperGuy May 21, 2011 02:33 PM

                            Sorry, was just bitchy this morning. Blame it on the prospects of a day at an indoor waterpark full of kids.

                            I used to go to the Chocolate Buffet once a year or so, and it was good way back in the day, with always a few really good desserts, but more for the total decadence of a buffet full of beautiful chocolate desserts with nobody to say stop. And with pacing and lots of girl talk, I definitely was able to get my money's worth. However I do think there was a quality/interestingness decline which unfortunately coincided with a price increase, and it's been years since I've been back.

                        2. re: StriperGuy
                          opinionatedchef RE: StriperGuy May 21, 2011 09:53 AM

                          i agree with you and would add- what 'extravaganza, all-you-can-eat' event is ever for aficianados?

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