Restaurant – Co Co. Sala

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So I think I’ve established pretty well that the Boy and I are big fans of trying out new (and old) restaurants.  And with our Shakespeare Theatre tickets, we have evenings where we are already in DC and have the opportunity to go out and enjoy ourselves.  The evening we saw Romeo and Juliet we had two things going in our favor: one – it was an 8pm show, when normally they are at 730, and two – the Boy was working from home that day, which meant we could leave for dinner together at an earlier hour, and thus guarantee ourselves a more leisurely dining experience.  Too often we find ourselves with just over an hour between when we sit down and when we need to leave, which means scarfing down delicious food and not having the opportunity to appreciate it.

So where did we go this time?  Was it somewhere new that we’ve never tried?  Well as you can probably tell from the title of the post, we went to Co Co. Sala, a place that both of us have been to before, but neither of us have been to recently.  It’s a restaurant/lounge in downtown DC that focuses on chocolate – incorporating it into drinks and food, along with doing spectacular desserts.  Plus – they had availability at the time we wanted to eat.

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Let’s start with drinks.  I had a drink called the “Libido” made with vodka, pineapple and lemon, with lavender bitters and featuring chocolate ice cubes!  My first sips were tasty, but light on the chocolate, and the Boy and I decided that the drink really gets better and more interesting as you let the chocolate melt and become a more prominent flavor in the cocktail.  He had an incredible glass of wine that we are now on the hunt for (If you know where we could get a bottle or six of the Portillo 2013 Malbec – or if the 2014 was any good – let me know!), but can’t seem to find.

This is the point where I’m going to interject and say that the restaurant offers a tasting menu for … I think it was $50?  DO NOT GET IT.  If you look at the price of the food from that menu individually on the regular dinner menu, your total will be significantly below that of the “tasting menu” price, unless you order the steak and all the other most expensive items.  So by all means – get three courses, just order them one by one instead of letting the restaurant gouge you for being too lazy to compare prices.

That said, we both got at least three courses and they were quite tasty, and not as pricey as they would have been with the tasting men.  I continued my streak of ordering spicy cauliflower dishes, and ordered the sweet and sour cauliflower, which I enjoyed thoroughly.  Not only that, but the greens on the dish were also crispy and delicious.  The boy ordered a beet salad, because he loves beets, and he said they were good, and I’ll trust him on that.  But he also was intrigued by an item on the menu called “lamb meatball lollies” – so we ordered them to share and they were SO GOOD.  And not just the meatball part, but the tasty little quinoa salad that sat underneath them.

For the main course, I was feeling very into fall and ordered the butternut squash risotto because it had goat cheese, and pancetta, and I am too lazy to make risotto at home, though maybe I should have more patience and try it out.  It was quite good – very creamy and the perfect flavor and combination of textures for fall.  The Boy ordered the tuna tartare, and it was very bright and tasty – sort of like a sashimi dish, but all chopped up and with sauce.

Dessert is perhaps where we made our only mistake, and that was in ordering TWO desserts (one each) instead of splitting one.  It ended up being very sweet and delicious, but maybe slightly too much food?  I had the Chocolate Onyx (dark chocolate and caramel flavors), and the Boy had Azelia Amour (hazelnut and caramel flavors).  Both were very pretty to look at on the plate, and tasty, but just slightly too much.

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So yeah – a fun evening.  The food was very nearly the right amount even with three courses.  So if you go (and it’s an experience I recommend, though perhaps not all the time), remember these things: the cocktails are great and special enough that you won’t find any like them elsewhere in the city; don’t get the tasting menu unless you are getting the steak because otherwise it is not the deal you think it is; consider splitting your dessert, as it’s quite the capper for the evening.  Otherwise – enjoy it for your special occasion.  I don’t know when I’ll be ready to go back…but I will at some point, and I hope it’s still there the way it was waiting for us to return this time!

Details: Co Co. Sala, 929 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004; Reservations online.

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