Sweet science in Harvard Square
On the Cheap by Rob McKeown
The linzertorte ($2.75) at Burdick's Chocolates says everything one needs to
know about Harvard Square's finest confectionery outpost. It is buttery-tender
and elegant in its spicing. Compared to the crunchy desserts usually palmed off
under the same name, it's a revelation.
So are all the pastries in this pint-size room on Brattle Street. Filled with
nuts and honey and dried cherries, a nusstorte ($2.75) is slightly doughy
without, sticky and sweet within, like a pastrified calzone. A delicately flaky
apple tart ($2.75) seems to evaporate on the plate; the Burdick ($2.75), the
house confection, is a wafer-like treat that alternates between the yielding
texture of cake, crushed nuts, and coconut and the deep richness of chocolate.
Even the tuille (80 cents), now the last word in restaurant dessert
garnishes, is shockingly good and complex: an airy weave of almond paste,
pumpkin seeds, and chocolate.
And who could forget the chocolate? Chocolate tasting plates cost $3 to $5,
chocolate bars are worth a splurge at $4.25, and gift boxes and truffles go up,
up, up from there. But I'd simply opt for a lush cup of hot milk chocolate
served at one of the burlap-and-brown-bag-covered tables in the small room. As
the incredibly knowledgeable staff delivers the drink and the rustic feel of
the room sinks in, you'll forget about the slightly high prices and the
Burdick's Chocolates, located at 52-D Brattle Street, in Cambridge, is open
Sunday and Monday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Tuesday through Saturday
from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Call 491-4340.
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