Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Kee's Chocolate: A NYC Original, but a Bit Uneven

Kee's Chocolate

I visited this chocolatier with a most artist-like in SoHo. The long wide, rectangular room, is broad and mostly emtpy, and seems geared to focus the visitor's attention nearly reverentially at a small cabinet filled with a few varieties of chocolate truffles. I ordered the pistachio and the creme brulee truffles, and also decided to try a fennel macaron.

The pistachio was excellent, both visually and taste-wise. The small ball of white chocolate and nuts was coasted with pistachio bits on the outside, and was smooth, creamy, and, above all, balanced in flavor. Harmonious and fresh, it seemed like a simple and seamless melding of natural and man-made construct.

The creme brulee, apparently the most popular flavor, was a little mixed. I popped the whole thing into my mouth as the nice lady at the counter told me to do -- and as I bit in was rewarded with a gush of a milky, sweet but slightly sour liquid. It went well with the crunch of the chocolate beneath it, but I wasn't sure I liked the brulee filling overall. It reminded me just a little of buttermilk. On the other hand, I can't quite say I disliked it either.

The macaron was another draw. Though the fennel filling was surprisingly tasty, the cookie itself was too chewy for my taste. It didn't melt in my mouth, and eating it a felt a bit too much like work.

Stars: 4/5

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