I looked forward to Chocolaterian Cafe opening and was excited to try it. I've been back a few times, each time hoping it would be better. Unfortunately, we always leave thinking it was OK and that's about it. It's a popular place so every time we go I expect it to have improved, but it hasn't. I mean, it isn't bad, but it isn't exquisite, it's just, with a concept so awesome, I expect the offerings to be tastier, the service to be exquisite, the atmosphere to be warm and cozy. But it's just meh.
They offer some unusual items, like the Ugly Cookie. Yes, they are ugly. They're also rich. But they're not that great. The Parisian hot chocolate is definitely a hearty, delicious drink, more like a dark ganache before it's cooled. The portion is small, but it's still too much. It's stomach-turning how fatty and sweet it is. I apparently don't want to drink dark ganache. Everything we've tried, and we've tried a lot, is good but not anything we'd crave, not anything we can't wait to go back for.
The service doesn't help. It's a fairly haphazard line across the case, and the staff always seem impatient, especially the cashiers. They are not a chatty group, nor are they particularly warm. Come on, my fellow East Siders! Smile! Just because you think you're so cool doesn't mean you should be, you know, cold. I can go to the West Side if I want to be sneered at. I asked for a glass of water and the cashier barely nodded her head sideways to point out the self-serve area. Charming. Not.
The dining area is tables and chairs. There are some comfy chairs in a couple of spots. The space has been nicely remodeled, but it is nowhere I would linger. There are no intimate areas, just a long, wide hallway with the tables and a large window into the kitchen, which is neat, but not cozy.
I want my fancy chocolate to be a more intimate experience. This is adequate chocolate and treats in a nice but unremarkable space. It seems to be the place to go and be seen and rave about. But it just doesn't live up to the hype.
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