The Best Chocolate Cake In the World
There’s a difference between engaging in a little good-natured hyperbole, and raising expectations waaaaay beyond your ability to deliver. Sadly, the Best Chocolate Cake In the World, a tiny, fussily-designed bakery and cafe recently opened in Nolita, lands firmly on the wrong side of that line. Seriously: if you’re going to name your shop The Best Chocolate Cake In the World, you’ve got to at least bring it into, say, the Top 10, especially in New York City, where there are already dozens of excellent chocolate cake-ish desserts from which to choose.* Anyway, last week we sampled the two varieties of the Chocolate Cake here, and both would have disappointed even if the sign on the window had said One of the 50 Best Chocolate Cakes in the World.
The cake at The Best Chocolate Cake in the World is more like a torte, the insanely sweet slices squat, many-layered affairs busy with mouse and meringue and cookie and ganache and Valrhona chocolate. Not that we have anything against tortes, but it all sounds a whole lot better than it is. Besides the unappealing fact that both varieties are practically crunchy with sugar, the most ridiculous thing about this place is that the two, one purportedly "bittersweet" and made with 70% cacao, the other "traditional", with 53%, taste exactly the same. In fact, we called over our server to see if there had been some mistake, and she claimed that the two different kinds are supposed to be like that. And besides, she continued, there’s never a noticeable difference between 53% and 70% cacao content anyway. This, of course, is nonsense, but even it were true, then why bother selling two kinds?
The Best Chocolate Cake In the World is the first US outpost of a Brazilian chain, which also has storefronts in Lisbon and Madrid. There are other things on the menu here, including scoops of Il Laboratorio gelato (by far the highlight of our plate of cake, providing necessary creamy relief from the sweetness) and Counter Culture coffee, as well as some savory sandwiches. It’s all way overpriced–cake slices are $6.50; add another $2.50 for a meager a la mode–and the New York City space cramped and uncharming. The name is working so far, though, as there were plenty of people lined up, wanting to believe.
The Best Chocolate Cake In the World Details
The Best Chocolate Cake In the World is located on Spring Street between Lafayette and Mulberry Streets, and is open daily from 8:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m.
*The Brooklyn Blackout at Two Little Red Hens, the Ooey Gooey at Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery, the Warm Molten Chocolate Cake at DT Works, the Chocolate Marquis at Spot Dessert all immediately come to mind, and there are many, many more.