Monday, December 22, 2008

Max Brenner

Have you tried Chocolate By The Bald Man? That is the subtitle of Max Brenner, a restaurant specializing in chocolate. There are two locations in New York City, one in the East Village and one in Union Square. It is part of a chain created in Israel by Max Fichtman and Oded Brenner, who put their names together for the name of the restaurant and created a fictitious chocolatier, their own version of Willy Wonka.

I have only eaten at their East Village spot, and then only dessert. They do serve regular food as well, such as salads, sandwiches and entrees. They also serve brunch. But it seems like dessert is what really brings in the crowds. On my latest visit, though it was only around 5pm, it seemed liked many people were foregoing dinner to just feast on dessert. We had already eaten an early dinner at Veselka so were reasy for something sweet. Luckily we did not have to wait too long for a table.
The restaurant is a bit funky in its decor, going for that phantasmagorical Willy Wonka-like style. Their dessert menu is very extensive, including crepes, waffles, fondues, churros, chocolate cake, as well as novelties like chocolate pizza and warm chocolate soup. They also serve a variety of chocolate drinks from hot cocoa to martinis. Prices are fairly reasonable, all things considered.
As they did not have any churros on our visit, we ordered the Vanilla Profiterole Fondue Skewers ($11.25). These aregolfball-sized profiteroles stuffed with vanilla ice cream and served on skewers. They are accompanied by a milk chocolate fondue and vanilla sauce for dipping. There is also a small dish of crunchy wafer balls. Though this is a rather simple dish, it was done well and was tasty with fresh profiterole and creamy ice cream.
I very much enjoyed the Banana and Hazelnut Cream Crepe ($13.25), a thin French crepe stuffed with melted chocolate chunks, hazelnut cream, and sliced bananas. It was served with vanilla ice cream, strawberries, blueberries, chocolate sauce and candied hazelnut crunchy bits. The flavors meshed well, with plenty of chocolate, and the crepe was light and warm. Again, a fairly simple dish but well executed.
My nephew was enthralled with the Chocolate Syringe, which is exactly what it sounds like, a plastic syringe filled with chocolate. It was accompanied by some gummy bears. He really enjoyed the chocolate and had fun with the syringe, squeezing the chocolate into his mouth.
Overall, I enjoyed the dessserts though I would not consider them exceptional. Service was a little slow, though the restaurant was quite busy when we were there. It is a place worth checking out, especially if you love chocolate.

Max Brenner, Chocolate By the Bald Man on Urbanspoon


Finance Foodie said...

Great review...I used to take all my out of town visitors to Max Brenners when i lived in NYC!

Anonymous said...

Nice review! I love that restaurant

Dazy said...

My kids are crazy about chocolate. I too like their Fondue Skewers. I make it a point to come every time I'm in the neighborhood.