April 07, 2009

Calling all Augustus Gloops: there's a new chocolatier in town. At Manhattan's Max Brenner, Chocolate by the Bald Man (841 Broadway; 212/388-0030)—Brenner's first American outpost—decorative glass pipes "pump" chocolate from white vats, and giant confections are chopped on a butcher block. Brenner even designed vessels from which his clients can eat and drink: the cappuccino cup has a "slide" on the rim, where solid chocolate gently melts its way into the coffee. Just stay away from those pipes, or you might end up in the Fudge Room.

Max Brenner

Dedicated to creating “a new chocolate culture,” Max Brenner, who often refers to himself as "the bald man," opened this restaurant devoted solely to chocolate back in 2006. Located in the East Village, the loud, cocoa-colored eatery features a chocolate bar and Wonka-esque design elements like a brown, serpentine ceiling pipe that's labeled "100% Pure Chocolate." Sweet items like fondues, s'mores, and "Max Iscream" fill the menu, and while Brenner's Chocolate Chunks Pizza is always a customer favorite, it's hard to overlook specialty cocktails like White Russians made with white chocolate. Un-chocolaty menu items include the famous Brenner Burger (served with barbecue sauce) along with various sandwiches, salads, and even breakfast items.

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