The cafe focuses, as the name suggests, on chocolate, but the glass display cases house a variety of sweet treats, including macarons in bright pastels. The dark wooden shelves stock Christine's toffee bars to take home, but from the counter you can order more complex creations -- fondue (the chocolate kind, naturally), a Wisconsin cheese plate (paired with local Potter's Crackers and Quince and Apple preserves), and a charcuterie plate featuring three meats from Underground Meats (again paired with Potter's Crackers and Quince and Apple preserves).
While the Parisian hot chocolate was getting good reviews, visitors can also order a glass or bottle of wine to go with their plates -- five wines (red and white) and a port are on the menu. So are the requisite coffee drinks. The "Espresso gourmand" is a pairing of three small dessert plates with a shot of espresso, or, for an extra sugar rush, the hot chocolate.
Also getting praise from patrons were the chocolate almond horns and the so-called "ugly cookies" (which might better be described as plain rather than ugly) that feature chocolate chips, cocoa nibs, pistachios and Christine's toffee bits.
The building has doors on both Atwood Avenue and Winnebago Street; the long, thin space leaves plenty of room for tables and a few comfy chairs and couches. The space also houses a spacious kitchen, visible behind glass from the Winnebago Street side.
The building has been restored somewhat from its recent look. Wood floors run throughout, as does the original woodwork and some wooden cases. A documentary excerpt video about Schenk-Huegel business can be viewed here.
The historic east side crossroads has gained new life over the past few years as new eateries have moved in: Mermaid Cafe, Alchemy Cafe, Tex Tubb's Taco Palace, and One Barrel Brewing are all centered at the Atwood/Winnebago intersection.