By Emma Krasov, photography by Yuri Krasov'Become a Shokoholic,’ invites Shokolaat Restaurant in downtown Palo Alto. For me, that was the easiest thing to do.From clean and sophisticated ambience to house-made chocolates that include morsels with cardamom and saffron or cherry marmalade and 24-karat gold – everything here is welcoming and potentially addictive.
I was not surprised to learn that chocolate assortments created here are being shipped all over the U.S. and to regular customers in Europe and Israel – chocoholics of the world, unite!Started in 2007 as a chocolaterie by a wife-and-husband team Shekoh Moossavi and Mark Ainsworth, the venue soon became a popular dining spot on University Avenue, and expanded its operation first to small plates then to full-size dinners fortified with an extensive wine list.These days, the restaurant adds an enticing happy hour menu to its regular fare.
Shokolaat creates its seasonal dinner menu based on local and sustainable ingredients, using plenty of house preparations.Wonderfully fresh and fish-oily house-cured salmon is served over a pumpernickel toast smeared with dill cream cheese and spiked with pickled red onion.Earthy wild mushroom soup (on the night we dined – hen of the woods) is made after Shekoh’s mother’s recipe with fragrant mint oil.
There are several salads, pasta dishes and fish plates on the menu, as well as a good selection of meats from veal and duck to grass-fed beef and lamb.
The latter sounded especially enticing, so both my husband and I ended up ordering lamb dishes.My shepherd’s pie was stuffed with braised lamb shank, root vegetables, and caramelized onions under a blanket of turmeric-induced potato puree. Roasted tomatoes added an unexpected and pleasant nuance to the otherwise traditionally mild-tasting dish.Perfectly medium-rare rack of lamb with mashed potatoes, green beans and bright-yellow rutabaga puree came in a pool of finger-licking house signature sauce.
Moving to Shokolaat desserts we indulged in classic crème-brulee and bittersweet chocolate and dark rum soufflé with hot chocolate sauce – both predictably excellent.
Shokolaat Restaurant is located at 516 University Avenue in Palo Alto, California.
Open for dinner Tuesday - Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and for lunch Tuesday - Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The Patisserie is open Tuesday - Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. For reservations, call (650) 289-0719 or visit www.Shokolaat.com.
How to Become a Shokoholic
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