Saturday, February 23, 2008

Boston Chocolate Tour

Boston Chocolate Tour
February 2008

I'll be over this diabetic coma soon enough...

Top of the Hub
Restaurant, Boston

Top of the Hub; Boston Chocolate Tour; Chocolate; Divinebella; Dessert; Boston Restaurant; DowntownAfter a fully-narrated trolley ride, given the history of Chocolate and tales of Montezuma, Cortez, and all that, we finally arrived at our first stop, Top of the Hub at Prudential Center, Downtown Boston. Welcome to Boston's One and Only Original Chocolate Tour.

Upon first pulling up to the landmark building of downtown Boston, we were greeted first by a fun, flamboyant French Chef actor who guided us through Prudential Center Mall with his giant plastic smiley-face spoon of joy. We then soared up to the 52nd floor of the tower to this extraordinary, awe-inspiring view of a snow-swept city. I have to say, this place looks like a great date destination in the evenings, but during the day it pretty much looks like a great place for a nice cocktail or business lunch. The restaurant was not busy at all, and this was a Sunday! You'd think it'd be packed with people having brunch, or lunch, on their day off of work. The view is worth the trek to the top, and so is the glorious creation of pastry chef Tony Choy... I believe was his name. He alters his pastry creations every week, so this was a real custom treat!

Top of the Hub; Boston Restaurant; Boston Chocolate Tour; Divinebella; Dessert; Chocolate Mousse; Espresso Mousse CakeEspresso & Chocolate Mousse Cake

This was the rich, divine chocolate relief that I was looking for. This was perhaps the most complex, multi-dimensional chocolate dessert that I had on this entire tour. When I mean rich, I mean quality rich. Layered with a java-espresso mousse, moist sponge and dark chocolate mouse in the middle, this cake blends into nice blend of espresso and chocolate that's not bitter, but rather bitter-sweet. The bottom layer is this crunchy, Crunch bar esque compilation. I'm not kidding. I wasn't a fan of the bottom layer, but the rest of this was delightful and surprisingly not heavy. I loved the mousse, and the espresso java flavor made for a nice transition and relief from what could have been an overbearing experience of chocolate.

The top layer is my favorite, glamorized with specks of gold and white chocolate block of decor with a sharp chocolate spear. It is crowned with a dab of whip and raspberry. The best part was the layer of packed dark chocolate fondant. It wasn't cheap, it was rich and full of the quality dark chocolate flavor that I love, semi-bitter. Ooooh, this was gooood.

Omni Parker House
Restaurant, Boston

Omni Parker House; Boston Hotel; Dessert; Chocolate; Divinebella; Boston Cream Pie; Chocolate Tour; Boston Chocolate Tour; KennedyI am blessed to have set foot in the classic Omni Parker House. At the crown of Beacon Hill, Kennedy announced his senatorial and presidential candidacy here as well as proposing to his wife. Not only this, but he finalized all the deals with Boston's finest Boston Cream Pie. The dessert of the commonwealth, this heavy slice of pie is not a skimpy portion at the Omni Parker House restaurant from Chef Gerald Tice.

First off, I want to pay a nod to the interior of this hotel. It retains its timeless classiness with its dark wood interior and New England moldings and decor. The crystal chandeliers are traditional New England, and you really do feel like you've stepped back into time.

Omni Parker House; Boston Hotel; Dessert; Chocolate; Divinebella; Boston Cream Pie; Chocolate Tour; Pastry; Pie; Boston; Beacon Hill; February 2008; Boston Chocolate Tour; KennedyBoston Cream Pie
Simple, sheer cream pie, with a twist... it's Boston style.

I love the white chocolate swirl design on the top chocolate layer of this pie. This cake is a state traditional dessert. It's heavy, so it wasn't one of my favorite. It's just so simple though. There's nothing to it. There's eggs, heavy cream, flour and some other stuff here and there. But that's it! The center is this thick, heavy cream, no particular flavor. You can taste lots of milk, cream, and butter. That's it. The yellow cake is not moist, but not dry either, and tastes just like yellow cake.

There is a little line you see of dark shade, which is actually a bit of a kick from Myers Rum-soaked cake. The only part I really liked about this was the back, crust, which you cannot see, but it is composed of slivered almond bits that covered the outer-lateral side of the cake. It's light and tastes like almonds, naturally, thus I like this part of the pie. The strawberry drizzle that this pie lays upon is also nice, but again, rather simple. It's very sweet, runny, and simply strawberry and sugar.

This dessert was to heavy for me, and and tasted all very much like sheer-cream, everywhere you took a bite. I'm not that kind of dessert person. But if you're going to have Boston Cream Pie, this is the place to get it.

PS: If you eat here at the restaurant, come at night; the lighting will be better. I wasn't feeling the mood lighting in the daytime against the dark wood. I'm sure it all looks better with candlelight and warm chandeliers in the evening.


Cafe Fleuri
The Langham Hotel, Boston

Cafe Fleuri; Chocolate Buffet; Chocolate Bar; Dessert; Chocolate; Langham Hotel; Boston Restaurants; Boston Chocolate Tour; Divinebella; Pastries; Ice Cream; Crepes; Cake; Mousse; CookiesCafe Fleuri's famous Chocolate Bar Buffet. All you can eat chocolate. Beware though, diabetic coma may follow, as I was warned. I managed to survive the coma, but what I did get was a sugar headache, so drink your water!

Cafe Fleuri is overwhelming with options, bite-sized options for the most part, but there's no way you can try them all even if you wanted to. There's a Crepe station, and Ice Cream station, Chocolate Soup station, Donut makers, Cotton Candy machine, Cookie Bakers, and of course... there's the famous Chocolate Fountain of rich, dark chocolate fondue, better than you'll find ANYWHERE.

They even have non-chocolate alternatives, such as Creme Brulee, and Donuts. Even the ice cream flavors stem out with Pistachio and classic Vanilla, plus more! This is a chocoholic's dream. Dare to dream big. You can come here even when not on the chocolate tour on Saturdays and Sundays between 11 and 3pm for $35. The brunches here are nearly as amazing, I hear.

Cafe Fleuri; Chocolate Buffet; Chocolate Bar; Dessert; Chocolate; Langham Hotel; Boston Restaurants; Boston Chocolate Tour; Divinebella; Pastries; Ice Cream; Crepes; Cake; Mousse; Cookies; Chocolate Martini Mousse
Cafe Fleuri; Chocolate Buffet; Chocolate Bar; Dessert; Chocolate; Langham Hotel; Boston Restaurants; Boston Chocolate Tour; Divinebella; Pastries; Ice Cream; Crepes; Cake; Mousse; Cookies; Chocolate Martini Mousse; Sabayon; MousseChocolate Sabayon Martini
Mousse
Sweet and huge, this stiff, semi-chilled dark chocolate mousse is rich, thick and divine. It's absolutely delicious, and probably my most favorite dark chocolate item of them all! It's chic and presented with a bit of rich, dark cocoa drizzle and slivered nuts in a long stem martini glass. I won't forget this. This is a must-have from the buffet.


Cafe Fleuri; Chocolate Buffet; Chocolate Bar; Dessert; Chocolate; Langham Hotel; Boston Restaurants; Boston Chocolate Tour; Divinebella; Pastries; Ice Cream; Crepes; Cake; Mousse; Cookies; Chocolate Martini Mousse; Coconut; Raisin; White Chocolate; HaystackHay"babies"
White Chocolate Coconut Raisin
To be honest, I don't remember the name of these except for that they started with the stem "Hay." These were one of my FAVORITEs at the buffet. Absolutely amazing and originally creative! I think they actually may have been called haystacks, but anyhow... you can't miss out on these. They're so unusual looking. They are quite sweet though of white chocolate. They are not crisp at all though, or hard. Yes, they're stiff, but they melt apart in your mouth. I loved this!

Cafe Fleuri; Chocolate Buffet; Chocolate Bar; Dessert; Chocolate; Langham Hotel; Boston Restaurants; Boston Chocolate Tour; Divinebella; Pastries; Ice Cream; Crepes; Cake; Mousse; Cookies; Chocolate Martini Mousse; Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding; Chocolate SauceChocolate Croissant Bread Pudding
Cafe Fleuri's signature dessert.

So much rap was made about this dessert that I was dying to try this, but to my surprise I found that this was really more of a savory dessert. It didn't taste like sweet croissant at all. It's as if the chocolate dulled the sweet butter-croissant flavor. This bread pudding had been sitting in here for a little while, so the mush of baked croissant moist with chocolate was a little... eh rubbery. The flavor was not rich, but rather like dulled semi-bitter chocolate on savory baked dough. It was sprinkled with confectioners sugar and served casserole style next to a chocolate sauce tin, and you are meant to cut your own slice and serve your own chocolate sauce. Maybe I'll just need to give it another chance when it's fresher. It's not all bad at all, it just tasted savory to me, and it wasn't fresh when I got it.

Cafe Fleuri; Chocolate Buffet; Chocolate Bar; Dessert; Chocolate; Langham Hotel; Boston Restaurants; Boston Chocolate Tour; Divinebella; Pastries; Ice Cream; Crepes; Cake; Mousse; Cookies; Chocolate Martini Mousse; Chocolate Fountain; Chocolate Fondue; Strawberries; Dark ChocolateThe Famous
Chocolate Fondue Fountain
(strawberries, pineapple, rice crispy treats, pretzels, marshmellow, waffle, vanilla bean biscotti)

Rich, decadent chocolate of the finest extraction. This was quality chocolate; not that cheap melted Nestle stuff. Indulge yourself! I loved the strawberry and waffles with this. This was another one of my favorites, along with the Mousse Martini, Haystacks, and the Pistachio Tarts.

Here, my favorite was the vanilla bean / almond biscotti. This was well-prepared, not stiff and crunchy, but rather semi stiff and soft once in your mouth. It was definitely fresh and had a light vanilla bean flavor that was mildly sweet. Lovely.

Cafe Fleuri; Chocolate Buffet; Chocolate Bar; Dessert; Chocolate; Langham Hotel; Boston Restaurants; Boston Chocolate Tour; Divinebella; Pastries; Ice Cream; Crepes; Cake; Mousse; Cookies; Chocolate Martini Mousse; Sacher; Chocolate Torte; PastrySacher Chocolate Tortes

Didn't eat one, as I heard they were dry and boring, and I was also full from everything else. But they look pretty.

Cafe Fleuri; Chocolate Buffet; Chocolate Bar; Dessert; Chocolate; Langham Hotel; Boston Restaurants; Boston Chocolate Tour; Divinebella; Pastries; Ice Cream; Crepes; Cake; Mousse; Cookies; Chocolate Martini Mousse; Opera CakeOpera Cake
Spongy, and semi-creamy. There is a thin layer of basic cream in a few levels of this, along with basic sponge cake. This looked sooo pretty, especially with the moist caramelized layer on the top, however it tasted a bit un-exciting to me, just like another sponge cream cake dessert.
What a work of art though, eh?

Cafe Fleuri; Chocolate Buffet; Chocolate Bar; Dessert; Chocolate; Langham Hotel; Boston Restaurants; Boston Chocolate Tour; Divinebella; Pastries; Ice Cream; Crepes; Cake; Mousse; Cookies; Chocolate Martini Mousse; Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding; Chocolate SauceChocolate Croissant Bread Pudding
Disgusting photo I know, but it's not that bad. You can see the mushiness of the baked croissant soaked with cream and chocolate. See above for review.

Cafe Fleuri; Chocolate Buffet; Chocolate Bar; Dessert; Chocolate; Langham Hotel; Boston Restaurants; Boston Chocolate Tour; Divinebella; Pastries; Ice Cream; Crepes; Cake; Mousse; Cookies; Chocolate Martini Mousse; Tiramisu; ItalianTiramisu
Deceiving, really. This looked the most tempting of everything when I first walked in before I found out that 90% of it is this whipped mascarpone cream with dusted cocoa powder. Underneath this layer is simply just some rum. I was on the search for ladyfinger and was disappointed. It's their own version of the tiramisu, and I find that I don't prefer this one. It's missing my most favorite elements, though the cream is quite good.

Cafe Fleuri; Chocolate Buffet; Chocolate Bar; Dessert; Chocolate; Langham Hotel; Boston Restaurants; Boston Chocolate Tour; Divinebella; Pastries; Ice Cream; Crepes; Cake; Mousse; Cookies; Chocolate Martini Mousse; Cotton Candy; Cocoa PowderCotton Candy
Dusted with Cacao
Simply cotton candy with cocoa powder. Can't go wrong. It's good. I was more excited about other desserts though.

Cafe Fleuri; Chocolate Buffet; Chocolate Bar; Dessert; Chocolate; Langham Hotel; Boston Restaurants; Boston Chocolate Tour; Divinebella; Pastries; Ice Cream; Crepes; Cake; Mousse; Cookies; Chocolate Martini Mousse; Lemon Tart; Blueberry Tart; Chocolate LemonLemon Tart
Chocolate & Blueberry

Pretty, but didn't try it yet.

Cafe Fleuri; Chocolate Buffet; Chocolate Bar; Dessert; Chocolate; Langham Hotel; Boston Restaurants; Boston Chocolate Tour; Divinebella; Pastries; Ice Cream; Crepes; Cake; Mousse; Cookies; Chocolate Martini Mousse; Green Tea; Green Tea Opera Cake; Green Tea Chocolate Opera CakeGreen Tea Chocolate
Opera Cake

Another beauty. The green shade of this was glorious. Didn't have the pleasure of devouring one.
You'll understand why I couldn't try everything when you see this place. You simply can't try everything on one trip. It IS impossible -- I never thought I'd say that.

Cafe Fleuri; Chocolate Buffet; Chocolate Bar; Dessert; Chocolate; Langham Hotel; Boston Restaurants; Boston Chocolate Tour; Divinebella; Pastries; Ice Cream; Crepes; Cake; Mousse; Cookies; Chocolate Martini Mousse; Hazelnut Dacquoise; Hazelnut; Decadence; Cake; TorteHazelnut Dacquoise
This is a hazelnut ganache consistency, rather sweet like chocolate mousse, but I loved the round caramelized hazelnuts that were adorning the top, and white chocolate slivers. The bottom layer is light. This has a fresh hazelnut flavor too it, though it's not that bold. If you like mousse cakes, this is for you.

Cafe Fleuri; Chocolate Buffet; Chocolate Bar; Dessert; Chocolate; Langham Hotel; Boston Restaurants; Boston Chocolate Tour; Divinebella; Pastries; Ice Cream; Crepes; Cake; Mousse; Cookies; Chocolate Martini Mousse; Chocolate Chip CookieChocolate Chip Cookie

The best chocolate chip cookie I've had in Boston, or on the East Coast for that matter. This was melting on my plate, served hot from the oven, just baked. It was gooey, oh so gooey, which is what I love most about cookies. The breading of the cookie was the best part, and the chocolate was... wow. It was perfectly sweet; whatever butter they used stood out. I loved this cookie. I could eat a whole bin. I want their recipe. Oooooh... I could have sweet dreams about this.

Cafe Fleuri; Chocolate Buffet; Chocolate Bar; Dessert; Chocolate; Langham Hotel; Boston Restaurants; Boston Chocolate Tour; Divinebella; Pastries; Ice Cream; Crepes; Cake; Mousse; Cookies; Chocolate Martini Mousse; Black Forest; Chocolate Mousse; GanacheBlack Forest
Chocolate Mousse
Definitely go for the Mousse Martini over this. This is uneventful. It's mousse pales in comparison to the other options, and the little cake tart at the bottom is more dry than others. The dark chocolate flakes on the top are rich. All the more, however, this really is boring compared to their other dishes.

Cafe Fleuri; Chocolate Buffet; Chocolate Bar; Dessert; Chocolate; Langham Hotel; Boston Restaurants; Boston Chocolate Tour; Divinebella; Pastries; Ice Cream; Crepes; Cake; Mousse; Cookies; Chocolate Martini Mousse; Crepes; CrepeCrepe Station
When I have room, I'll get a crepe. They are famous for adding Gran Marnier and Myers rum to a great crepe with some chocolate and maybe even some ice cream. You can add whatever, the toppings are limitless. This was a hit in the buffet.

Cafe Fleuri; Chocolate Buffet; Chocolate Bar; Dessert; Chocolate; Langham Hotel; Boston Restaurants; Boston Chocolate Tour; Divinebella; Pastries; Ice Cream; Crepes; Cake; Mousse; Cookies; Chocolate Martini Mousse; White Chocolate; Pistachio Tart; White Chocolate Tart; CaramelPistachio (White) Chocolate
Creme Shells with Myers Rum ~ Caramel

Another petit, and unusually flavorful favorite of mine. It must have been the pistachios and rum. Ultimately this outer shell is made of solid white chocolate and the inner cream is rich in sweetness but if harmonized with the rich balance of myers rum caramel. At least that's what I think the brown stuff tastes like. It's a gooey sauce, that's not whole-ly caramel.. it has a liqueur flavor. The toppings are crushed pistachio. This was great!



Furthermore, some of the other famous items include their Chocolate Soup, which is pretty much just hot chocolate. They have Dark Chocolate Soup (which I tried), Wicked Chocolate Soup, and White Chocolate Soup. Wicked Chocolate soup looks and tastes like the Dark Chocolate Soup so I don't know what the difference is. These are all runny hot chocolates, but verrry thick and rich in chocolate flavor, and sweet! The Dark Chocolate mix is best for dipping the strawberries into rather than sipping, unless you're more of a hot chocolate fan. I wasn't digging these soups too much just because I was more into the martini mousse and rich stuff from the fountain.

What a place! What a tour! I'm telling you, if you haven't done this yet, you're missing out. Check it out and buy your ticket now! Boston only hosts this in the Spring.

http://www.trolleytours.com/Boston/chocolate-tour-boston-restaurants.asp

I'll never forget this.


Cafe Fleuri on Urbanspoon

Top of the Hub on Urbanspoon

Parker's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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