Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Strand and Max Brenner Chocolate
We had a great date in the city on Saturday night. Lots of good things about it including:
1. We got to hang out with Jared and Liz. Always fun, always cool.
2. Strand Books. I love this place. You know how in From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler they run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art? This is where I want to run away to. 3 floors, ceiling to floor shelves, used books, new books, antique books, "novelty" books and more topics than any Barnes & Noble. After everyone had gone home I would start in the New York section, work my way toward the music and music history books, spend some time at the cookbooks, browse the oversize art books and finish with some bedtime stories in the children's section. It's a really delicious place. And if you are like me and the very aura of the place makes you so excited you have to use the bathroom, there is one on the upper floor next to the kids section. (I just realized how odd it may seem to mention that a store has a bathroom, but for some reason bathrooms are somewhat of a endangered species in NYC. I could tell you stories . . . .)
3. Just a mere block away from Strand's is Max Brenner Chocolates (we went to the Broadway between 13th and 14th location). We put our name on the list, then browsed at the bookstore and came back just in time to be seated. Perfect. Max Brenner's is so fun. It's not the super-so-sophisticated-you-want-to-spit-it-out-but-can't-because-it's-so- super-SOPHISTICATED kind of chocolate. This chocolate would appeal to everyone. They have a lunch/dinner menu and a book length dessert menu. Josh ordered waffles with grilled asparagus, cheese and creamy mustard sauce with a small bed of greens in vinaigrette for dinner and it was surprisingly good. I had hot chocolate (you can choose by the bean; dark Venezuelan, milk with vanilla undertones, etc . . .), and a molten chocolate cake with ice cream, berries and chocolate sauce. We can't wait to go back with the kids. They would love the crepes with white chocolate chunks, marshmallows, gummy bears and chocolate sauce or the fondue that involves roasting marshmallows over a small flame and dipping them in rich chocolate, or the vanilla ice cream bar that comes with three dipping options. The only bummer was that it was so busy we waited a while for our food and desserts and even ended up canceling one dessert that never came. Next time I'll go early afternoon and have a lunch of dessert.