I had read about Hot Chocolate long before a food tour took me in. I had no idea how to get to it before the Chicago Daily Planet Food Tour visited it in August 2011. Ever since that day, I have had it on my list as a top priority when visiting Chicago again.
I dined at Hot Chocolate in July 2012. We took a taxi from Millennium Park to get there. I wanted to eat lunch or dinner, having studied the menu, so I was very disappointed that we had to choose from the brunch menu. I wasn't interested in eggs. I wanted heartier fare. . . meat!
My mother is 78 and was disappointed in many points of this restaurant. The music for this Saturday morning was rock and roll. The volume of the music and voices and clanging from the kitchen was hard on her ability to hear me speak. I suggested leaving, and it was a while before a waitress showed up at our table to commit us to ordering. I'm surprised that we stayed. I would do just about anything to please my mother.
I saw our drinks sitting on the bar for 15 minutes before they were delivered. There was still record heat in Chicago and I was worried that my iced chocolate would come down to room temp before it was brought to me. I gave my mother the first sip and she was as ecstatic as I was when I tasted it last August. We have never had such a delicious chocolate drink in our lives. It is worth repeating. It is worth the taxi ride. It is worth acquiescing to brunch when you would really rather have lunch or dinner. The marshmallow is the frostiing on the cake!
I ordered the corn quiche and salad. The quiche was superb. The salad was as bitter as could be. I left most of it on the plate.
My mother had the tomato soup and grilled cheese. She loved the soup, hated the sandwich. The bread was tough.
My goal was to leave with a box of cookies. Last year, we were not allowed to buy anything from the restaurant while on our tour. I was so tempted to purchase the butter cookies done in all shapes and variations. This year, I was taken to a shelf full of cookies none of which I wanted to try, but still, I needed to keep my promise to myself. The heat took its toll on the cookies before I was able to sink my teeth, and being in a hotel room, I didn't have a freezer to revive the texture. They were soft and unimpressive.
I have rated Hot Chocolate with four stars not for the service, not for the fresh-from-the-farmer's market produce, not for the cookies, but simply for the luxury of the chocolate drink. While I was there, two food tours came and left, and many did not finiish their chocolate drinks. They really don't know what they were missing!
When I see the dessert pictures others have posted, I feel like we really missed the best part of Mindy Segal's work. We were not offered dessert or dessert menus. Our service was lacking in every way. I watched our waitress walk past our table ten times without stopping. It turns out that she wasn't our waitress anymore. I complained to another waitress that we had been forgetten and she apologized for being the newly assigned waitress, but was remiss in visiting our table until the bill was due which we were left waiting for 20 minutes!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.