Boston’s Chocolate Brunch from In and Around Town

As promised, I’m bringing you guys some great posts from some fellow bloggers while I’m away. Today, I have Erica from In and Around Town. Thanks Erica for posting in my absence!

One Year Ago: Challah Bread
Two Years Ago: Strawberry and Spinach Salad
Four Years Ago: Goat Cheese and Spinach Turkey Burgers

Hi Beantown Baker readers!

I’m Erica from In and Around Town, helping Jen while she is living it up in Europe! I live in Boston and love to write about the restaurants I visit here in the city (or elsewhere in the world) and tell you all about my trials in the kitchen (since it’s rarely smooth sailing for me!). When Jen asked me to do a guest post, I was really excited: her blog was one of the first ones I started reading and helped inspire me to start my own. Hope you enjoy!

A while ago I remember hearing rumors about a mythical brunch that only consisted of chocolate. Being the chocolate lover I am, I was immediately intrigued but did not look into it, thinking it was too good to be true. I just assumed that it was a typical hotel buffet brunch that maybe had a larger dessert spread to choose from. I had no idea how wrong I could be.

Chocolate Fountain and dipping choices

For Nick’s sister’s birthday (another chocolate lover) Nick did a bit more research and found that it was put on at Cafe Fleuri at the Langham Hotel. As Nick put it, this is not a breakfast-style brunch with chocolate everywhere. Instead, this is as close as you can get to visiting Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory in real life!

If the chocolate choices weren’t enough, there were bowls full of candy!

When you walk into the open and airy restaurant with its skylights letting the sun shine in, you are greeted by a lovely hostess and servers who are excited to welcome your group to the infamous brunch. Around the restaurant we noticed a wide variety of gusts – families, groups of ladies enjoying a fun afternoon out, and teenagers celebrating a birthday (they really seemed to enjoy the DJ, especially when he played their One Direction request!).

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Table (Chocolate Covered Everything, really)

When I first walked into the brunch area, I was completely overwhelmed! There were SO many chocolate dishes everywhere I turned. Instead of diving in immediately I took the opportunity to snap some photos and survey the tables. There were just so many options that were creative and more than your average chocolate dish. Our server informed us that were a variety of types of chocolate and levels of coco used in each of the dishes. Really, plenty of options to satisfy just about any palette.

Truffles, Cakes and Mousses…
Dark Chocolate Creme Brulee, Cannoli and Eclaries
Layer Cakes…
Cookies and Muffins
Cotton Candy!!
Non-Chocolate Table (imagine that!)
Ice Cream Sundae Table, with all sorts of add-ins and toppings

Having done my full round (or two) of surveying, I went in with my plate ready to make some decisions. My goal was to have only one or two bites of everything I got – just a taste, otherwise I wouldn’t get anywhere! My first stop was the crepe station, where you can select from a chocolate or vanilla crepe, filled with milk, white or dark chocolate, berries and coconut among other toppings, all made to order! It was just too good to resist and was totally delicious. The chocolate crepe was light with only a hint of chocolate, but the milk chocolate filling provided enough to satisfy even the biggest chocolate fan. The berries were a fresh contrast to the rest of the components.

Chocolate Crepe filled with milk chocolate, coconut and mixed berries topped off with whipped cream

My first plate included some chocolate covered strawberries, a chocolate whoopie pie, flourless chocolate layer cake, almond cookies, mini lemon meringue tart, banana cream tartlet topped off with a meringue and garnished with a piece of bacon, and finally a gruyere tart topped with some dark chocolate.

Plate 1

My favorite was the gruyere tart, a salty sweet cheese that matched perfectly with the dark chocolate drizzled overtop. I definitely ate the whole tartlet and it was worth it! The whoopie pie cake was light and fluffy and had a delicious cream filling that was rich and creamy. The cookie was a no-bake almond crunch cookie that was dense with sliced almonds smothered in a rich dark chocolate. The lemon meringue was only OK – not enough lemon flavoring for me. Nick’s favorite was the banana pudding tartlet. It’s generally one of his favorite sweets, and the salty bacon crunch on the top gave a slight salty burst of flavor.

Another look at plate 1

It wouldn’t be much of a chocolate brunch without some chocolate martinis! There were three offerings and three of us, so we ordered all three. These were some strong drinks! All were made with chocolae spirits such as Godiva liqueur. Each taste I had seemed to be stronger than that last and overall they were just a bit too much for me. But with creative sugared rims, garnishes and combinations of alcohols, if you are into this style of cocktails, these would be right up your ally!

Chocolate Martini’s!

After a bit of a break and a large glass of water, I went back for round two. This time I had a bit more of an idea of what I wanted having seen Nick and his sister’s plates. With that feedback, I made a beeline for the truffles (milk and dark) as well as this blueberry yogurt cake – the color alone had my eye! The truffles were good, however, I loved the blueberry cake. &It was moist and light with a fruity flavor that was a nice contrast from many of the other offerings.

Plate 2

I also could not resist the spoonful of powdered chocolate, but this was a bit of a miss – not sure what the goal of this dish was. The shot glass in the background had a delicious hot chocolate with a spicy kick that was fun and delicious! That last dish on this plate was my favorite of the entire afternoon – chocolate mousse with a layer of olive oil garnished with a salty breadstick. The olive oil here was the star of the dish. It added a surprising richness that you thought would be overkill but wasn’t at all and added a whole other dimension to the dish! The breadstick just provide the perfect vehicle to get it into my mouth faster ;)

Another view of plate 2

Nick had heard that the chocolate break pudding was one of their signature dishes, and it did not disappoint. The bread pudding was warm and rich, and tasted great with some homemade whipped cream.

Chocolate bread pudding topped off with a big dollop of whipped cream

I could not pass through the chocolate bar without having one the creme brulees – it’s my favorite! I decided on the milk chocolate flavor and it was delicious. The burnt sugar top was the perfect crust to the light and creamy milk chocolate below. In my opinion, creme brulee should definitely incorporate chocolate more often!

Milk Chocolate Creme Brulee

After so much sweet food, it was time for a bit of salt. Luckily they thought of this and put out homemade potato chips and popcorn. The potato chips were delicious, sliced a bit thicker, cooked to a perfect golden brown and topped off with some kosher salt. A great end to a perfect sweet meal.

Golden Potato Chip Perfection

If you are looking for the perfect embodiment of a chocolate meal, the Chocolate Bar at the Langham Hotel is it! This brunch is loads of fun and something everyone should indulge in at some point.

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