I'm jealous Mish and Doug have experienced Hot Chocolate. It's been on my list for a long time and have no good reason for not making a trip. Here is a quick rundown on HC from Mish Goldstein:
(Mindy's) Hot Chocolate, a charming and hip (yet cozy), cutting edge (yet old school), reasonably priced (while being decadent) Wicker Park restaurant. Despite the name, don't be fooled. This venue is SO much more than a small town bake shop (although with 4 James Beard Outstanding Pastry Chef Nominations for owner Mindy Segal, how could you not think that upon first glance).
In desperate need of a glass of wine & a nice meal with the boyfriend, we ventured to Hot Chocolate on Damen (across from the Dailey Method Studio & Marc by Marc Jacobs, possibly my two most favorite places all consolidated into a 2 story store front! Woo!), where we have been multiple times. This venue delivers excellent service and a non-fussy straightforward menu with ridiculously lip smacking flavors that are absolutely one of a kind.
Mish's Tip: Don't necessarily go directly for a main course entree. The starters really do a nice job of displaying the attention to detail Chef Segal uses in her dishes. No flavor is left behind. Order a bunch of starters, and salads, and go to drinks and desserts. You will be full for sure!
We ordered the items listed below. I've also had the Arctic Char, and it was perfectly cooked. We actually didn't order desserts that night, but I will say that everything comes in adorable and manicured packages (especially the milk shakes! they come in tiny double shot size glasses, not like I know what those look like...). The peanut butter milkshake is best. Also, any dessert that they create using bananas is worth ordering. Just take my word for it, you won't be dissapointed.
Muscles with PBR Butter Sauce: bacon, shallots, garlic, local chilies, PBR, organic cream, grilled bread
Lamb and Krema Kasa: sourdough flatbread with house-made lamb sausage, Carr Valley Krema Kasa cheese, wild arugula oregano oil served with pickled beets
Melon Prosciutto Salad: melons chopped in pieces, sliced fresh prosciutto, basil olive oil puree dressing, Parmesan cheese shavings, fresh greens
I highly recommend you take a visit there. Also, if you do, let me know how much the brown leather bench in the entry way costs, because I want it for my home!