A Public Quest for Interesting Food Finds in Huntington

Join me on a journey for the best food finds in Huntington. Whether in restaurants, a deli-packed picnic
or a neighbor's back yard barbeque - we'll discover the best spots, secret recipes and where to find
those hard to find ingredients. Foodies... follow me!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

REVIEW - Sally's Cocofe

I’ve probably walked past Sally’s Cocofe forty or fifty times, assuming it was just a dessert and coffee place, (Cocofe is located next to the unfortunate empty space where Chicos once occupied.)

Until nine months ago my assumption was right. Dr. Paul Bermanski (local urologist) originally opened Cocofe as just that; in honor of his mother I’m told. Sweet, sweet...

Now the name is a little deceiving. Last November Cocofe evolved into a swank-ish atomosphere and an unexpected menu. Many of the dishes are cocoa dusted, or sneak a little chocolate, hidden in the sauce.

From their website:
Sally's Cocofé is a full service restaurant serving eclectic American cuisine. Sally's is open for lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch, featuring Prix Fixe as well as ala carte menus.

I had the opportunity to sit with restaurant manager Rozeille Regelado (pronounced Rochelle) and she is as sweet as any dessert on the menu. With a touch of southern hospitality, she gave me her time and a little background on the restaurant.

The restaurant was livelier than we expected for a Sunday night. Good for them. When I chose the tuna dish, the waiter exclaimed “that’s my favorite” and I knew he meant it. My husband started with a creamy, flavorful salmon chowder that rivaled my own and finished with the comfort of a simple, satisfying pasta. Luckily he indulges my penchant for meal sharing.

  • Rare Seared Yellowfin Tuna ~ Cocoa-Chili Dust, Cilantro Pesto, Mixed Vegetable SautĂ© and Flour Tortilla, $22
  • Salmon Chowder ~ Tomato Relish and Cilantro, $7
  • Penne ~ Broccoli Rabe, Tomato, White Wine, Garlic and EVO, $16

Rozeille confided the most popular delights:

Arancini (crispy risotto balls), Bistro Fries and the Tartare of Salmon/Tuna with cilantro, lime and avocado.
Desserts are still what it’s all about at Cocofe, a safe-haven for the chocolate lover. Favorites include the Bread Pudding made with dark and white chocolate, and the piece de resistance – Fondue made with three different chocolates, served with fruits and pound cake.

I’m definitely going back, next time I’ll be sure to leave room for dessert. I love fondue! Check out their menu online: http://www.sallyscocofe.com

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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Dinner in the making...

Nothing makes me happier than a friend who will open my refrigerator. It’s symbolic of the level of friendship.

Last week I invited a handful of friends for dinner. The intention was casual, though my normal routine is to attend to most detail in advance, before guests arrive, so I can relax and enjoy the evening. On this particular night, time slipped by and I just couldn’t get it together - arriving home only minutes ahead of the guests, groceries still in hand.

With no discussion, my friends scooped up the bags and put all the food away. Before I knew it Margaret had my refrigerator stocked and Sally rearranged my pantry as she put things away. Then Margaret faithfully attended the blender and Nat fired up the grill.

Dinner was nothing fancy: a few side salads, meats on the grill and corn on the cob with herbed butter (garlic, lime, hot sauce and a last minute decision to add a little lavender – Good Lord, good call!)

The food itself wasn’t the centerpiece of the evening, it was the fellowship. Preparing the meal together was a true communal effort. Everyone lent a hand in some way or another throughout the night. When I could stand no longer (back injury), Margaret emptied the dishwasher and Sally reloaded.

And the funny thing is, I don’t think anyone felt like they worked; it was just time spent together, joyfully preparing the meal. I’m proud of the friends I’ve collected over the years and have learned to be selective. I feel valued by them all and hope they feel the same from me.

In my next life, I’d like a dining room that seats 30 and a refrigerator the size of a bus.

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