Q: Can you find chocolate creme brulee? I’ve heard that it is very good, but have been unable to locate it.
A: Of course, this question arrived during Restaurant Week, when chefs in garde manger stations across town all collectively reach for their mini blowtorches.
But there are a number of restaurants that serve crème brulee on a regular basis, and I was able to find one (or two? More on that in a minute) with a chocolate version on its everyday dessert menu. I’m not ready to rule out the possibility of other restaurants serving the dessert, though, so hope readers will tell me if I’ve overlooked a chocolate crème brulee source.
In the meantime, Holy City Hospitality offers dark chocolate crème brulee at Michael’s on the Alley and Vincent Chicco’s. The steakhouse and Italian restaurant are positioned on either side of the same kitchen, so it doesn’t matter where you sit: To me, creme brulee seems like a more natural coda to a filet than spaghetti, but the choice is yours.
And speaking of personal preferences, I’m not crazy about chocolate or crème brulee. At least the latter is somewhat irrational, since I’m a devoted fan of rice pudding, which is based on an almost identical eggy vanilla custard.
Still, I can appreciate how the iconic dessert’s sugar top shatters, so was disappointed when Holy City’s crème brulee gave without cracking when I touched it with my spoon. Furthermore, the interior was weirdly warmish, but its color, texture and flavor were otherwise reminiscent of concession chocolate soft-serve ice cream.
That’s not necessarily bad, but I suspect it still falls short of the elegance you’re seeking. The good news is Charleston Restaurant Week returns in January, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a limited-time chocolate crème brulee arrives with it.