In January, the space next door to Coco 66 reopened under Manhattan restaurateur Michael Callahan. The new restaurant, Coco (68 Greenpoint Ave), wowed us with a fresh and delicious dinner menu that included dishes such as Bourbon-Butter Grilled Oysters, a whopping great Double-Thick Pork Chop, and inventively prepared seasonal veg. The selection of late night bar food (served until 2am) also caught our eye with amazing Pickled Egg Sandwiches and $5 Cheeseburgers.
Now, nicely timed with the arrival of spring, they’ve started serving weekend brunch (10am-4pm), with a cracking menu devised by Head Chef Joe Capozzi (formerly of The Fat Radish) and consulting chef Julie Farias.
Last weekend we went along to try out some of the new dishes.
We walked through the cozy front bar area to the the large rear dining space which is bright, beautiful, and perfect for weekend brunch. Sun radiates down from the huge skylights, casting a gorgeous warm light into the exposed kitchen and wood-paneled seating area. Small groups and couples were perched at raised tables along one side, whilst the long table at the back was filled with a happy family gathering.
After being greeted by our lovely (and uniformly beautiful) hosts we settled onto the barstools at our scrubbed wooden table and kicked things off with French press coffee, a pot of loose-leaf tea, and huge generous slabs of Banana and Walnut Bread. This was served warm, with a glorious date butter and was so good that we had to restrain ourselves from inhaling the whole lot before the rest of the meal was served.
It’s worth mentioning that although we opted for a caffeine- fix, Coco offers a brilliant DIY Bloody Mary bar where you can create your own deluxe combo of trimmings including bacon bits, celery sticks, cornichons, cherry peppers and huge green olives.
We decided to opt for something savory to follow the banana bread, but nonetheless Joe thoughtfully bought us out a sampler of his Red Rice and Quinoa Porridge in between courses ‘just to try’. The porridge was really good: not too sweet, with lovely nubbly grains soaked in almond milk. It was topped with a winning combination of walnuts, tart raspberries, a blob of almond butter and shreds of fresh mint which provided a refreshing burst against the smooth nut butter. Next time I’m looking for a healthy start to my day I’ll be heading to Coco for this dish.
Next we tried the special of Grilled Black Sea Bass, which came beautifully presented over a neat mound of rice. The fish was glossy and succulent with a nice crispy skin, and tasted exceptionally good with the fluffy lime and cilantro rice. This is something I would happily eat at anytime of day and would actually be a great dish for a light summer supper.
Our last plate was Baked Eggs with Chorizo and Spicy Tomato. This was a hearty affair, served in a cast-iron skillet, packed with minced house-made chorizo in a thick tomato sauce with two eggs nestled on top. If we hadn’t just wolfed down huge quantities of banana loaf this dish would have been pretty good with a hunk of bread to mop around the bottom of the pan.
The brunch menu also boasts treats such as Buckwheat Pancakes, Ovenly Granola, Apple Butter Gouda Toast and a Ham and Cheese Bread Pudding which Joe tells us is the bomb. This is something that we shall have to save for next time, along with a DIY Bloody Mary and perhaps a booking at the long communal table with a big group of foodie cohorts.
Brunch at Coco is a great way to start the weekend, and unlike some of the more bustley places around, it’s an incredibly relaxed experience. The surroundings are calming and serene, the staff are a delight and the delicious food is well-worth coming back for. Greenpoint, we have another excellent brunch spot in our midst.