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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Science is delicious at the Chocolate Lab

Here we are, ready and excited to check out this thriving Dogpatch hotspot ChocolateLab. Come on!

In case this is the first post you're reading from us, just fyi, we Love chocolate. Tea Time Adventures has been enjoying Recchiuti Confections for several years. In fact, Michael Recchiuti was nice enough to sign one of JK's cookbooks that she dropped off at Fog City News after he had to cancel a signing at the last minute. This cafe is his newest venture, and boy does it hit the spot. It doesn't matter if you're looking for a quiet cafe, hip eatery or amazing desserts, this resto has it all. It was definitely worth taking the time to catch the MUNI T from downtown and wandering off our well-trodden pathways.

"Welcome to our Lab," she said.
This resto is a bright clean space.

The open kitchen lets you see the masters work.
Angela ordered a housemade lemonade which was perfectly balanced with a touch of sweetness to off set the tartness of the citrus. We perused the menu for a bit and spied on the plates and bowls remaining on the community table that a group of women were chatting over as they finished dining. Finally we settled on the Cheese Plate, with blue cheese (the best Angela has had in a while!), brie and a gouda, in addition to pickled veggies, local honey and caramelized seeds, with toast points and fig bread as cheese conveyors. We also chose the Bay Shrimp Tartine, which is a shrimp salad made with creme fraiche on top of toast with salad greens and more pickled veg on the side. These two items were ample portions for sharing and let us save some room for dessert. We speculated about what to get, the Brownie a la mode winning out over their Ice-Cream Sundae due to it's 'brownie' points. When it arrived the waitress poured the Extra-Bitter Chocolate Sauce over the fudgy brownie and vanilla ice cream. It was delicious end to a great lunch.


I'm ready for my lemonade infusion Doctor.

Bay Shrimp Tartine with Pickled Veg.
A salad of bay shrimp, tarragon, and creme fraiche, atop a bed of delicate salad greens.
Blue, Gouda and Brie cheese were the focus of this plate. Delish.

Up close and personal with our lunch.

Brownie Sundae Dessert with Bitter Chocolate Sauce.
If we can be so bold, we'd like to suggest that Chef Recchiuti hop on the Afternoon Tea bandwagon. Tea Time thinks this cafe would be a perfect place to enjoy a prix fixe  seasonal tea. Featuring bay shrimp and ham sandwiches? We're certain they have some tasty scone recipes up their sleeves... Meanwhile, if you're looking for someplace to hang on Valentine's Day, or any day you want to have a special dessert, head out to the Dogpatch, cause Recchiuti's got the cure for your ills at the ChocolateLab!

Located in a historic building.

Thanks for a great lunch!


UPDATE

We had such a good time at Chocolate Lab that we made second trek to Dogpatch, with our friend Stephanie, for another lunch. Of course we had to start with the delicious cheese plate which featured different cheeses from the last visit. Gouda, Brie and a white goat cheese in olive oil, along with pickled veg, and caramelized garlic bulbs.

Three imported & local selections served with house-made crackers,
toasted bread, fig bread, house-made condiments, roasted garlic bulb 
 After Stephanie was startled by the appearance of a rubber band on her fork (it must have been around our soft goat cheese with olive oil), our server brought us a fourth cheese to make up for the experience.



Angela chose the soup for her main course, a kale and green veg blend with lentils hidden at the bottom of the plate/bowl. It was perfect to combat the chill weather outside, light and savory.

Soups made with farm to table fresh herbs and seasonal vegetables.
Weekly non-vegetarian made with 100% grass fed & pasture raised meats available
 J.K. decided on the Frittata Tartine.

Farmer's Market Vegetable frittata with house-made vegetable spread or sauce.
Topped with Parmesan, farm fresh micro-greens
 Stephanie had the Bay Shrimp Tartine (see original post) and carrot cake for dessert.

MIlk Chocolate Mousse between two layers of carrot cake,
with white chocolate frosting and caramelized pecans.
Served with butterscotch custard creme, yum!

While Angela and J.K. shared the famous Chocolate Lab Cake. We give you two views in order to appreciate the thought and food styling that goes into making this dessert work!

Devil's food cake, surrounded by a 65% semisweet chocolate wrap,
 with cacao nib infused foam, and caramelized cacao nibs,
in a sea of coffee creme anglaise