Since the British invention of the chocolate bar by Frye and Sons in 1847, not much has changed about the way we eat chocolate. Sure, you'll find Green tea-infused fillings and single-origins so fine they're kept in humidors, but Brenner's mission takes the fantasy and emotion of chocolateâwhat he says comes to him when he closes his eyes and thinks about itâand translates it into a complete experience.
The latest outpost in his empire (and the first stateside) opened yesterday in NYC's Union Square, showcasing his innovative productsâfrom pure chocolate and fresh cream dispensed on-site into glass jars (pictured above right) to "Magnet," an egg-shaped confection designed to be slipped in a kiss from mouth to mouth. Menu items include a range of spectacular indulgences, like toffee banana split waffles served with strawberries and warm chocolate sauce that comes in a mini-beaker, a shot glass filled with chocolate fudge and topped with pop rocks-style popping candies, and a vanilla popsicle that comes with melted chocolate fondue and toppings for dipping.
Several items make use of innovative utensils and dishes designed by Brenner that make eating and sipping his chocolate creations into multi-sensory events. Shaped for cupping, the Hug Mug (pictured above left) warms hands and encourages the simple pleasure of lingering over a cup of hot chocolate, while the Kangaroo cup features a pocket for chocolate that melts into hot coffee and comes with a double-ended spoon for mixing and licking. With a menu of savory treats (including a munchies section and calorie-conscious items) as well, Max Brenner's is like a chocolate amusement park with universal appeal.