Genius

A few years ago, somebody opened a good candy store in what's known as Pittsburgh's Strip District. The strip is where you go when you want to buy good food, and while a smattering of other kinds of shops has moved in (and out) over the years, it's still mostly food. Opening a good candy shop there was genius. The place is called "Mon Aimee Chocolat". They have a certain amount of sweets they prepare there, but the bulk of their stock is international candy, specializing in premier chocolate brands. If you need gourmet, 70% cocoa, dark chocolate, from Madagsacar... this is where you go. Needless to say, they know Sharon by sight there.

A few months ago, somebody opened a wine bar and restaurant in a building that used to house one of Pittsburgh's great "little places". Baum Vivant was a great restaurant in a tiny house, next to the train tracks, along a busy street, between a hospital and a strip club. The new place is called "Toast!". The dinner we had there was very good, the wine selection is very good, and the dessert menu has a touch of genius on it.

They've teamed up with Mon Aimee to serve a selection of fine chocolate. This is absolute genius. Often when we're dining out, choosing dessert comes down to determining which selection on the menu is the most chocolaty. Toast has distilled this down to utter simplicity by offering a dessert that can be described as "chocolate on a plate". It doesn't get much more chocolaty than that, and with Mon Aimee providing the chocolate it's always going to be good. Placing that next to a wine menu makes it even better. Genius.

2008.12.22 at 8:00am EST