Oh, the crust.
I felt like I was judging an episode of a TV cooking competition, sampling the results of one of those fish-out-of-water challenges where an expert in sweets is forced to create something savory, in this case an update on an American home cooking classic. Megan Romano, who opened her Chocolate & Spice bakery and café this past spring after 12 years as pastry chef at Charlie Palmer’s Aureole in Mandalay Bay, is a chef equally adept at creating both drool-inducing desserts and light lunches that explode with flavor. So a seemingly boring comfort dish like chicken pot pie becomes a masterpiece from her kitchen, tender chunks of white and dark meat and brightly colored vegetables buoyed by a silky, golden gravy-broth, all hot and waiting for you to fork your way through the best pot pie crust ever created.
- Chocolate & Spice
- 7293 W. Sahara Ave. #8, 527-7772
- Monday-Saturday, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
I’m not sure what kind of buttery, magical puff pastry was created to cover this lovely pie, but its texture was revolutionary. It was unbelievably delicate and crisp on top, and slightly stretchy and chewy underneath, where it could begin to absorb the delicious moisture from within. Even though I knew how good this simple food could be—not my first visit to Chocolate & Spice—this dish was still a surprise, though not as surprising as it was to find the place quiet at lunchtime on a Saturday. Certainly the neighborhood is still discovering Chocolate & Spice. I don’t mean to induce a riot, but the chicken pot pie is a special for the season, not a regular menu item, so move with appropriate speed.