I tried out the Bloom Salon at the new Dandelion Factory on 16th for their chocolate tea. We are big fans of afternoon tea and had heard early positive reviews from friends. Plus I was very curious to see the new factory space.
Although items can be ordered a la carte earlier in the day, in the afternoon, guests are encouraged to order from one of two set menus: one described as an afternoon chocolate tea and one afternoon ice cream. Our plan had been to order one of each, but to our great disappointment, they were having issues with their ice cream production, so we were limited to the afternoon chocolate menu.
The room itself was lovely, and I can imagine seeing it over and over again on Instagram. We found it surprisingly cold. The only decision we had to make was whether or not we wanted the House Hot Chocolate or the (spicier) Mission Hot Chocolate. We did one of each and felt that they were the highlight of the experience. The accompanying house-made marshmallows were also excellent.
The tea is presented in the traditional tiered platter. The menu was:
Open-Face Egg Salad (not on the online menu)
Citrus Macaron – Camino Verde, Ecuador crémeaux, cacao pulp, Meyer lemon, and mint jam
Chocolate Soufflé – Mini chocolate soufflé served in a copper pot
Earl Grey Profiterole – Pâte à choux filled with chocolate and Earl Grey cream
Almond Raspberry Napolean – Puff pastry layered with chocolate almond cream and raspberries
Of these, the overwhelming favorite for us and the tables near us was the Napoleon. Almond and raspberry is a flavor combination I always love, and the pastry was well made. The egg salad was fine and it was nice to have something savory, but not particularly memorable. We felt the citrus macaron, although well-made, was overwhelmed by the mint jam. My companion liked her souffle, I felt mine was a bit grainy, but did appreciate the not overly sweet flavor. The profiterole, again, was well-made but the Earl Grey dominated the chocolate.
In all, we were not big fans. It could be that we are not chocolate obsessed, but between the disappointment about the unavailable ice cream menu and the flavors, we both felt that we would have been happier at a more traditional tea service. That said, friends have loved it, so it may have been an off day and I do think it would be a fun place to come for hot chocolate and a chat.