When: November 4, 2017, 5 PM
There are four of us at the Napa Rose Lounge. It’s early evening. We’ve been bopping around all day. Phones are being charged. Feet are being put up. Food is being selected. I’ve gone with a cocktail (The Bitter Storm); Elaine went with the Crispy California Artichoke Fritters.
Bryce, on the other hand, is in the mood for something sweet. Decadent. Rich. He picks the Scharffen Berger Dark Chocolate Cheesecake.
(And because he’s a pal, he gets it “for the table.”)
The Friendly Cast Member arrives with the dish. It’s … beautiful. A thin bar of dark, dark chocolate cake, topped with a thin piece of chocolate and a baby macaron. It’s sitting on a gleaming white plate, adorned with a smear of ganache and a sprinkle of walnuts.
Forks are picked up. Everyone dives in.
This is amazing.
Let’s start with the texture. It’s exquisite, and surprising. Rather than the usual cheesecake mouth feel, this is creamy and light, but with gritty bits here and there to remind you you’re eating a Serious Dessert. Bryce, mid-chew, looked over at me and said, “This isn’t traditional cheesecake. It’s not as dense. It’s almost like a mousse.” (And he’s right.)
Next: flavor. Holy cow, this is a chocolate lovers’ fantasy. It’s going high-low and sweet-bitter all at the same time. There’s dark chocolate, lighter chocolate, sugary chocolate and bitter chocolate. The combination is spectacular.
This is one of those dishes where everyone kept taking a bite, popping it in their mouths, and then leaning back in their chairs, saying, “oh, wow.”
Not just recommended: standout. Get this. You won’t be sorry.
UPDATE: As of January 2018, this dish is no longer available.