Friday, January 21, 2011

Restaurant Week Washington DC 2011 - CoCo Sala

I am completely "coo coo" for chocolate...that is obvious. So when I was deciding on dinner during restaurant week, Co Co Sala, the chocolatiers destination was a no brainer. Just outside of Gallery Place the single-level restaurant could be mistaken for a trendy nightclub. Red stanchions guard the entrance and direct you to everything CHOCOLATE!

I expected to be seduced with the aromas of white, milk and dark chocolates when I entered. Instead the chocolate-lab decor and fire-red accents gave me a visual sensory of what was to come. We were whisked past the metro-trendy bar/lounge and open-air kitchen to a tucked room in the back of the restaurant.

I took comfort on the oversized Red Velvet back booth as I perused the pre fixe menu. My dreams of chocolate drops and nibs were nearly here! We began with the Amuse Chocolat. This decadent concoction was a perfect introduction of chocolate in liquid form. I generally do not enjoy the aggressive taste of dark chocolate, but I all but licked the shot glass after I finished the delicious libation.

The salad selections were: Tomato and Burrata and Manchego and Baby Arugula. I preferred the tomato and burrata. Burrata means "buttered" in Italian and that is exactly the texture you get from this cheese that is a combination of mozzarella and cream. I would have loved for the balsamic reduction to have been blended with a hint of chocolate but it was good nonetheless Fresh heirloom tomatoes aligned the burrata and contributed quite well.

Moving on Co Co bites were their tapas selection of offerings. We selected: Lamb Sliders, Bacon Mac and Cheese, Creole Crab Cakes and Portobello Flatbread.

The lamb sliders were made with a blend of coconut and curry lamb and perfectly grilled to retain every conceivable ounce of moisture. Finished with a potato chutney and lime yogurt creme, it reminded me of a Persian samosa.

The bacon macaroni and cheese had a well-prepared roux that translated into a creamy noodle dish punched up with chopped bacon. A savory and sweet chocolate-dipped piece of bacon sat on top as a brilliant treat.

Honestly I have had better crab cakes, but this crab cake was a wondrous assemblage of bayou seasonings. But what stood out was the avocado cilantro emulsion that softened and accentuated the crunch of the crisp cake. Couple that with the fresh mango salsa and you have a brilliant tango of tastes on your tongue.

I have never been floored by a "vegetarian" selection until today. The portobello flat bread was the hands down star of the show. The delicately roasted portobello, the properly prepared eggplant and the triage of peppers amounted to a perfectly roasted garden on a house-made flat bread. The slightly warmed goat cheese and fig marmalade only gave each bite the final painted stroke of a culinary masterpiece. I will return just for this bite.

The Sweet Finale was A Sticky Situation and the Chocolate Onyx. The Chocolate Onyx was the highlight of the two -- in particular the dark chocolate mousse. CoCo Sala has again found a perfect balance of dark chocolate. Every sinful spoonful of this silken mousse creates a euphoric sensation of chocolate bliss.

The Beverage program is also worth your attention. I tried the Fetish Cocktail, Co Cojito & Wild Winter. The Wild Winter created a nostalgia of the just passed holidays with apple cider aromas. You will also enjoy the Cojito which is their chocolate spin on the classic mojito

Rivers of chocolate and savory samplings will keep you coming back for more...4 forks up CoCo Sala!!


  1. OMG YES!!!!!! Everything looks good here. I want visit this place. Whenever I go to restaurants I wanna try everything. I feel like Queen Latifah in Last Holiday. I love that movie.