Tuesday, December 28, 2010
201 W. Ponce de Leon Ave., Suite C, Decatur, GA www.thechocolatebardecatur.com
Last Thursday night Kyle and I visited Chocolate Bar, located in the heart of Decatur. We have been to Chocolate Bar several times, but not recently. I think the last time was about 2 years ago. We loved their inspired desserts and cocktails, but hated the terrible service. And by terrible, I mean THE WORST. Most of the time we were just served incredibly slowly, even when we were the only people in the Bar. One time we overheard two servers, standing about 3 feet away, voicing their desire for all of the customers to just GET OUT and leave them alone. Yes, this actually happened.
However, we bought a GroupOn a few months back and decided to give it another try. Knowing the high turnover rate at restaurants, we figured all of the belligerent staff we encountered before was probably long gone by now.
And to our happy surprise, that was exactly the case. Our waitress, Luba, was great. She whisked away our dirty plates and perfectly timed the arrival of our courses. And she actually smiled at us. Up until now, smiling servers have been noticeably absent at Chocolate Bar.
I ordered the lemon-ginger martini ($9). This is comprised of Grey Goose, "sweet" lemon and ginger. The parentheses are mine - this is not a sweet cocktail. It's very tart, and there's more than a subtle hint of ginger. I liked it very much, but I'm also a big lemon and ginger lover, so I was hoping for a big dose of each. I got it.
Kyle ordered the Grand Manhattan($11). When he took his first sip, his eyes grew wide and he pushed it my way. I took one whiff of it and pushed it back. Whatever infusion the house made, it's a strong one. You'll only need one of these babies for the night.
If you like sweet, creamy drinks, I can recommend the Chocolate Bar and the Mississippi Sidehand from previous experiences at the Bar. Delish.
We also started with a few snacks. I ordered the black truffle popcorn ($5.50), and received a large bowl, complete with shavings of what may or may not have been bonafide black truffle. Whatever it was, it was tremendously salty. This is coming from someone who salts about 80% of her food, so be forewarned. I liked the rich, earthy flavor, but couldn't handle the copious amount of salt and only ate about half of this dish. Next time I might try the Madras curry popcorn ($4) instead.
I also ate the salami ($7), which was thickly sliced and accompanied by some overly crisp chunks of garlic bread. This was average. The bread was barely edible and had a slightly burned smell, and the salami was too strong. It was overpowering, not a good complement to either the popcorn or the dessert.
Kyle and I shared the oreos and milk ($9 on the online menu, but $12 at the Bar????), something we knew in advance was a total delight, and by far the shining star of our meal. This is comprised of lovely dark chocolate souffles about the size of the palm of your hand, with a thick white chocolate center and a small scoop of milk sorbet on the side. The souffles are served warm and soft, and are topped with what I think is coarse rock salt. It mixes perfectly with the sorbet. You'll love it. It's meant for two people, but I saw a couple at another table with one each.
The Chocolate Bar also has a glass counter with various truffles, bon bons and pastries. The selection appeared to be pretty good.
Verdict: Much improved service. Don't miss the oreos and milk. Be sure to check your receipt to make sure you weren't overcharged.