The Second Coming Of Cocofe
By Danny, Betty & Karen /
Everything you knew about
Sallys Cocofe has changed.
When Cocofe shut its doors this summer to be overhauled, the
goal was to honor its existing chocolate theme by preserving
as many of Cocofes best points fondue, hot chocolate
and the homemade truffles, for example while revamping
the menu and focusing the restaurants vision to quell
the coffee shop or restaurant? debate that plagued
When they reopened in November, the debate was settled. While
the veritable river of chocolate that comprises
the ceiling remains, the high-backed couches have been jettisoned
for two rows of traditional, candlelit dining room seating,
making the space feel larger. A small lounge is set up toward
the rear, perfect for coming in for a cocktail from the expanded
bar, a small plate or some fondue and coffee after a movie.
We wanted it to be a bistro that has great desserts
you could go for either one, manager Frank Belisi, with
TriBeCa Consultants, said. It was imperative we change
the image to the bistro.
To wit, theyve done that the menu is all fish,
pasta or vegetarian, 100 percent kosher and a true fish
house with six fish entrees, Belisi said. Instead of
having a little chocolate in everything as before, the menu
is more focused. Theres a page of small plates, a page
of large plates and a page of desserts. Their discipline pays
Dinner starts with a basket of piping-hot rolls and crackers
with whipped garlic herb butter for the table. Arancini ($9)
is a splendid starter, boasting risotto, peas and red peppers
fried up gently in a crispy, smoky package and served in marinara
Chef Raul Flores is adept at combining bold flavors in dishes
and making them shine. Take the salmon ($22) dressed
in a lemon and butter sauce, the tender, expertly-roasted
filet benefits from a sauce where dominant flavors work in
harmony and are enhanced as a result. Dont skimp on
the zesty Israeli couscous, either with broccoli rabe,
peas, garlic and tomatoes, it adds to the savory experience.
Sesame-crusted, seared rare tuna ($25) has something for everybody.
Looking for a salty kick? Dab some balsamic reduction on the
tender, vibrant tuna. Craving sweet and a little kick? Mix
it with the eggplant caponata. Either way, your taste buds
will experience a fantastic treat.
Linguine ($14) in pomodoro sauce, basil and olive oil, boasts
fresh produce and tasty homemade pasta that will appeal to
most diners, and theres lots to go around.
Presentation is also a priority for the new Cocofe. The salmon
comes with a pair of long Chinese noodles jauntily thrust
upward, as if theyre in an artistic, culinary swordfight.
The tuna, ascending on a serving of caponata, is jazzed up
with specks of balsamic reduction.
The desserts and the chocolate are still stars, and for good
Cocofe always did chocolate well, and that hasnt changed.
In fact, they upped the ante to best complement the menu.
Our advice? Leave lots of room for dessert.
Described by one of our party as looking like a smore
for grown-ups, Cocofes outstanding Black and White
Napoleon ($8) is a little slice of chocolate heaven housed
between layers of flaky phyllo pastry topped with a bit of
powdered sugar. Decadent, creamy dark chocolate and white
chocolate mousses melt in your mouth and leave you wanting
Chocolate lovers and diners with a serious sweet tooth should
take note of the Chocolate Molten Cake ($8), a flourless confection
containing chocolate mousse and chocolate sauce that hits
the spot without being an overwhelming mass of chocolate despite
its ingredients. Non-chocolate choices were hits as well
the warm Apple Galette ($8) is a buttery free-form tart with
caramel sauce and a homemade flavor that would make Paula
The best dessert by far for sharing (youll want to hog
the others, trust us), the fondue ($8 per person) has a big
bonus. You can tell your trainer or gym buddies that you had
fresh, seasonal fruit for dessert when you went out. Just
forget to tell him or her that it was coated in a layer of
273 Main Street, Huntington village
Cuisine: Creative fish, pasta and salads
Atmosphere: Casual, yet upscale city chic on Long Island
Price Range: Moderate
Hours: Mon. Thurs.: Noon 10 p.m.
Fri.: Noon Late Night
Sat.: 1 p.m. Late Night
Sun.: 1 p.m. 9 p.m.