Best dishes countdown #1: "Chocolat" at Patisserie 46


How many local dishes can you point to that are undisputedly the best of their kind in America and the finest in the world? So far we know of only one. This one. 

You may already know that John Kraus of Patisserie 46 is one of the most respected pastry chefs in America. Though he could go anywhere in the world, he settled in Minnesota for our fine marrying stock and our fine neighborhoods and schools.

That was a coup in itself. But then Kraus decided to assemble a team and enter the Coupe du Monde, essentially the Olympics of pastry work. It's a great big deal in Europe and a pretty big deal the world over.

You can think of Kraus' crew as the Jamaican bobsled team of this competition: underfunded, overworked, strapped for time, money, and every other resource. But still they persevered, and won the bronze medal (Italy took silver and Japan took gold).

So, by this yardstick, Kraus and his teammates are the best pastry chefs in America, period. 

One of the masterpieces they used to woo the judges (who are the undisputed finest pastry chefs in the world) is now available to you at Patisserie 46, for just a few bucks a slice. 

"Chocolat," as it is succinctly called, goes like this: The top layer of 72 percent chocolate ganache is to frosting what butter is to "spread." Beneath that, a half inch of mousse gives way to a flourless chocolate sponge cake and then more ganache. A lower level of pecan crumble (toasted and ground pecans, butter, flour, and fleur de sel, all enrobed in chocolate) is a treat unto itself. 

The team made about 50 cakes to arrive at this perfect one, and no, they never got tired of eating it.

"It's the most harmonious cake I've ever tasted," says the chef. 

And if he, who is elbows deep in the cake every day, is not tired of it, how is it that you've never had it? At $5.25 a slice, you've got no excuse. It's the best in America, and the number-one dish of our year. 

Patisserie 46 

4552 Grand Ave. S., Minneapolis


100: Caramel Bacon Puffcorn at Red Cow 

99: Pappadams from the Curry Diva

98: The Kingfield at Five Watt

97: Raspberry Cream Scone at Sun Street Breads

96: Bacon and Bourbon from 6Smith

95: Biscuits and Gravy at Ward 6

94: Burgers from Peppers and Fries

93: The Everything Bagel from Rise Bagel Co.

92: Bent River Camembert from Alemar Cheese

91: Two large pizzas and a pitcher of beer, Original Red's Savoy

90: Boiled Peanut Hummus at 4 Bells

89: Chaksuka from Shish

88: Fried Green Tomato BLT from Butcher and the Boar

87: Charcuterie Board at Surly Beer Hall & Restaurant

86: Quiche from Le Town Talk

85: Aloo Tama from the Himalayan

84: Caramelized Cauliflower at Libertine

83: Banh Mi Joy Dog at Prairie Dogs

82: Salmon Poke at District Fresh Kitchen & Bar

81: Savory Waffle at Birchwood Cafe

80: Kofta from Mim's

79: Medianoche at La Ceiba

78: Spicy Golden Tofu from Peninsula

77: Chicken Fantastic from Safari

76: Ramen at Zen Box

75: Puttanesca at Foreign Legion

74: Salted caramel hazelnut tart at Eastside

73: Pastas at Monello

72: Housemade sausages at Ox Cart Ale House

71: Indeed's Rum King

70: Pernil from Tinto Cocina + Cantina

69: Beef tartare at the Commodore

68: Dry rub chicken at Breaking Bread

67: The footlong burrito at El Taco Riendo

66: Eggs Benedict at Grand Cafe

65: Vanilla buttercream donut from Bogart's

64: Chicken and waffles at Bradstreet Craftshouse

63: Umeboshi sour at Tattersall Distilling

62: Lobster deviled eggs at Lela

61: Surly Darkness (2015)

60: Yellowtail with passion fruit from Il Foro 

59: Matzo ball soup from Nighthawks

58: Baby potatoes from Birdie

57: The Reuben at Tilia

56: Cocktail Flight at Tongue in Cheek 

55: Classic burger from Burger Burger

54: Chicken pot pie at the Draft Horse 

53: Sambusas at Afro Deli 

52: Duck Fat Brunch Potatoes at Meritage 

51: Pulled bulgogi jackfruit from LolaRosa's

50: Classic truffle from Legacy Chocolates

49: Simple breakfast at the Kenwood 

48: Panzanella salad from Burch

47: Thai drunken fish at Chino Latino 

46: Gyoza from Ramen Kazama 

45: Lemon Meringue Pie at Revival 

44. Sandwiches at the Bachelor Farmer Cafe

43: Teasers at Tongue in Cheek 

42: Green chile cheese fries at Halftime Rec

41: Brussels sprouts at Hola Arepa

40: Snapper ceviche at 4 Bells

39: Chocolate chip cookie from Black Walnut Bakery 

38: Cheese curds from Lone Grazer Creamery 

37: Thumbs Cookies

36: Poutine at the Rabbit Hole 

35: Pizza at Big River Pizza

34: Braised Short Ribs at Parella 

33: Limoncello mussels at Italian Eatery

32: Pizza rolls at Red Wagon Pizza

31: Fried chicken at Dixie's on Grand

30: Pho at Ngon Bistro

29: Duck meatloaf sliders at Spoon and Stable

28: Chilled blue mussels at Heyday

27: Swedish meatballs at Upton 43

26: Scallop crudo at Scena 

25: Pelmeni at Russian Tea House 

24: Yakisoba dog at Kyatchi 

23: Beef tibs at Shega Foods 

22: Curried goat at Smalley's BBQ 

21: Chicken dumplings at Rainbow Chinese

20: BBQ at Q Fanatic 

19: Bespoke cocktails at The Alchemist 

18: Crab toast at Burch 

17: Lamb tartare at St. Genevieve

16: Sandwiches at Lowry Hill Meat 

15: Spaghetti Nero and clams at Il Foro

14: Meat pie at Heirloom

13: Red wine poached eggs at Spoon & Stable 

12: Pancakes at Nighthawks 

11: Beet salad at Surly Brewer's Table 

10: Lexington pork shoulder at Revival 

9: Belgian chocolate brownie at L'etoile du Nord

8: Bologna sandwich at Saint Dinette 

7: Ice cream from Milkjam 

6: Pastrami sandwich at St. Paul Meat Shop

5: Chocolate at K'ul

4: The Burger 2.0 at Il Foro 

3. Wagyu four ways at Sushi Fix

2: Ramen at Ramen Kazama