As you might expect from the name, Hot Chocolate (the creation of locally legendary pastry chef Mindy Segal) takes its desserts very seriously. But no matter how sweet your teeth are, we suggest you not rush dinner—not with a seasonal menu that might include gruyere mac-and-cheese, house-made pappardelle or a burger named the city’s best by Chicago magazine. (Get it with the fried egg on top). The desserts themselves tend to be elaborate in everything but name: Our favorite is “Chocolate #1,” which consists of a chocolate soufflé tart, salted caramel ice cream and house-made pretzels. Mindy’s also known for her brioche doughnuts and “black and tan” hot chocolate (a combination of one part hot fudge and two parts hot chocolate). The place draws a fairly posh crowd, but the atmosphere is convivial and hip rather than hushed and somber. You don’t absolutely need a reservation, though the place does get pretty full on weekends and holidays.
- Open Hours: Monday to Sunday from 10:00 AM to 03:00 PM, Tuesday to Wednesday from 05:30 PM to 10:00 PM, Sunday from 05:30 PM to 10:00 PM, Thursday from 05:30 PM to 11:00 PM, Friday to Saturday from 05:30 PM to 12:00 AM
- Credit Cards Accepted: visa, mastercard, amex
- Nearest Train: Damen-O'Hare