When enumerating the finer things in life, certain items always make the list: Moet Champagne, Caviar, I Love the '90s reruns. Regardless of whether the luxury is being enjoyed in a crystal glass or being criticized by Mo Rocca, each selection has a certain je ne sais quoi that makes it, you know, totally awesome. Well my fellow bourgeoisie, get ready to chalk another indulgence on to the list - and this one may actually belong there.

The all-you-can-eat chocolate buffet ($18.50) takes place at the Ritz-Carlton every Friday and Saturday night from 8 p.m. - 12 a.m., which is a good thing. If this thing went on every night we'd all be walking around looking like -- well, you get the picture. At first, $18.50 may seem a little steep for what is ostensibly a dessert buffet, especially one that doesn't include booze (just give it a chance, people). The selection, however, is ridiculous: easily 25 items, ranging from cakes to fruit tarts to made-to-order waffles (yes, waffles). So if you can't find something that gets your sweet tooth begging for more, you're being difficult. Really, really difficult. And if you insist on being an alcoholic while inhaling your cr?me brulee, there is a fully-stocked bar with table service. While drinks are expensive, they'll knock you on your fat, chocolate-eating ass.

In terms of ambiance, the place is breath taking -- which shouldn't come as a surprise -- it's the Ritz for God's sake. The buffet takes place in the main rotunda, which in itself looks like some Roman masterpiece, marble busts and all. Dim lighting and soft jazz add to the pretentiously swanky atmosphere. And let's face it: we all love to be pretentiously swanky. People-watching? Jackpot. This gem has got more characters than a reality show premier party. Try to clean yourself up before indulging; while the doormen won't kick you out for wearing shorts and sandals, you'll warrant some pretty nasty looks from the faux-French cocktail waitresses.

All things told, the Ritz's chocolate buffet is a luxury. Hitting it up every weekend will elicit cries of desperation from both your wallet and your arteries, but not going at least once is a crime against humanity ... and all things awesome.


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