Cocoliquot

Where are you eating and what do you think? What's opening, closing, succeeding, failing?
madtown wino
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Postby madtown wino » Sun May 28, 2006 12:07 pm

Is their brunch menu served tapas style as well? What kind of items are on there? I have been there once for dinner and once for dessert. Dessert is definately worth coming back for!

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Postby Thusnelda » Sun May 28, 2006 2:05 pm

The brunch menu consists of an entree menu and a side menu, sort of a combination of the small and large plates (though I'd imagine that the plates are all on the smaller end at brunch -- but very filling). Each entree comes with your choice of one of any of the sides, though most entrees also tend to have a little salad or something that come with it. Additionally, you can order any of the other sides on its own for $3. I don't know about the desserts, but the chocolates are also available at that time.

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Postby Henry Vilas » Sun May 28, 2006 3:24 pm


barista
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Not any time soon again

Postby barista » Thu Feb 08, 2007 11:30 pm

The "Madison Week" was a wonderful idea, and two weeks ago my girlfriend and I made reservations for Cocoliquot. Entering the restaurant, I was impressed by the pleasantly warm atmosphere and the muted light. What a nice place - though maybe a bit too dimly lighted.

This is where the pleasant part ends (some exceptions see below). We are foodies, and we have dined our way through most of the downtown restaurants more than once, but this was by far the worst service I have experienced so far. You mean, don't judge a book by its cover and a restaurant by its service? Well, to me it's a package, and this is how it was delivered:

First, we ordered drinks, wine and cider. It took more than only a few minutes to hear that the Zinfandel and cider were out. We changed our order and had to wait again. Meanwhile, I was running out of water and I had to ask a different waitress to get some for us. She merely groaned, took off and dumped a carafe on our table. The starters came, and both were wonderful. We had soups - French onion and two celeries. They were well seasoned, fresh and hot. After we had finished, the entrees came and were placed in front of us without a comment. The waitress disappeared without even asking if we might needed something else. Some salt for the fries would have been nice, but more important was a knife that I was missing. I waited a couple of minutes but realized that she wouldn't come back soon, so I had to ask one of the bartenders behind the bar to get a knife for me. The steak was tender, cooked exactly as I wanted (on the rare side of medium rare), flavorful and in fact a surprise for a restaurant not known as a steak house. The shallot confit was a tad too sweet for my taste and therefore not very supportive of the steak. The French fries were disappointing. They lacked the typical crispiness and might have waited under the heater for too long. McDonald's has a clock that sounds when the fries are too long on the shelf. Isn't everybody raving about Cocoliquot's fries? Well, my girlfriend liked her Lake Superior white fish with lentils, and I agree that it was very tender. The chef did a nice job adding contrasting flavors like apples and celeriac. At least my girlfriend had a chance to answer the waitresses question how dinner was - I wasn't asked at all.

When we were ready for desert, two of the three choices on the tasting menu were already out (kind of odd, considering that this was the first night that the menu was in place and it was only 8 p.m.), so we were given limited choices from the regular menu. We ordered coffee, sorbet, bittersweet chocolate cake, and an espresso macchiato. In case they don't serve macchiatos, I said an espresso would do. The coffee (decaf) came in a French press and was very good. It was accompanied by the sorbet and ice cream. The waitress saw my look and asked whether we were expecting chocolate cake, and indeed we did. I was also expecting the espresso, and the next time our waitress came, I inquired whether she was still working on the espresso macchiato. She was, she replied. The word "cake" in "bittersweet chocolate cake" was somehow misleading since there was nothing baked at all - a caramel creme with the texture of toffee between two pieces of chocolate. Mascarpone frosting - I neither saw nor tasted it. And yet, I liked the combination of the sweet chocolate and the raspberry sauce. When I was almost done with my desert, a regular sized cup of coffee came - admittedly with a lot of frothy foam on top. Obviously, they didn't know what an espresso macchiato is. This was the first time that we actually made a remark while returning the coffee and pointing out that I would have loved to have the espresso with the desert. Why is it that difficult in a restaurant not nearly half occupied? I mean, it's an espresso?! The waitress left again, came back and dropped a box of chocolate with the comment "This is on the house". Since she wasn't apologetic at all, we wondered whether this was part of the special restaurant week menu. Finally, the check arrived, and again, we had to ask her back. She had charged us for only one dinner and we asked that the check be rectified. Instead of thanking for our honesty, she said the computer was doing this all the time (why check the check before putting it on the table when you know your computer does weired things?).

So, what is the verdict? I can but don't want to separate the service from the food. The food was o.k., but nothing I couldn't get anywhere else where the service has been excellent for many years. I am sure many servers in better restaurants have bad days, but they seem to make an effort not spoil a guest's dining experience.

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Re: Not any time soon again

Postby Fat.The.Gangster » Fri Feb 09, 2007 11:16 am

barista wrote: We are foodies, and we have dined our way through most of the downtown restaurants more than once . . . The starters came, and both were wonderful . . .The steak was tender, cooked exactly as I wanted (on the rare side of medium rare), flavorful and in fact a surprise for a restaurant not known as a steak house . . . The coffee (decaf) came in a French press and was very good.


It's a little disingeuous to describe the food as o.k. after gushing on for three paragraphs about how much you enjoyed it. It appears as though your complaint centers around the server ignoring you in favor of your girlfriend, which, who can blame her if her customer is a hyper-critical douche.

p.s. anyone who described him or herself as a "foodie" is an asshole.
Last edited by Fat.The.Gangster on Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby TheBookPolice » Fri Feb 09, 2007 11:24 am

I'm not willing to bitch about service during a citywide get-out-the-eats promotion. Things are going to be a little tight during a time like that. Given that there's a fixed menu and things will run out, I was very happy with my CocoLiquot experience (review is in the Madison Restaurant Week thread).

As for the shallot confit, did you not find the hanger steak to be a little bitter? Preparation (chargrilled) + location on the animal (near kidneys) = bitterness. I thought the sweetness of the confit countered the bitterness very well.

I'm also not going to complain about something as touchy as fries, because A) mine were really good (as was the aioli), and B) see above for the inherent drawbacks of mass preparation of the same item for promotional dinners.

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Postby Pogoagogo » Fri Feb 09, 2007 12:52 pm

I don't get shallot "confit". Confit is "cooked in it's own fat". Shallot fat? Huh?

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Postby TheBookPolice » Fri Feb 09, 2007 12:57 pm

Pogoagogo wrote:I don't get shallot "confit". Confit is "cooked in it's own fat". Shallot fat? Huh?


I hate to cite Wikipedia, but, well, here you go. Here's another definition

And here's a recipe.

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Postby Pogoagogo » Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:21 pm

Ah, thanks for the clarification. It appears I was wrong.


TheBookPolice wrote:
Pogoagogo wrote:I don't get shallot "confit". Confit is "cooked in it's own fat". Shallot fat? Huh?


I hate to cite Wikipedia, but, well, here you go. Here's another definition

And here's a recipe.

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Postby equuspower » Wed Apr 04, 2007 3:53 pm

Perhaps I need to give Cocoliquot another try and perhaps not for dinner. My experience was disappointing I suppose because my expectations were so high.

The atmosphere was very nice and my partner and I started at the bar for a before dinner drink. The bar tender was fun and very nice and after discussing the menu with him, we decided to stay for dinner.

To start with, I was a little disappointed in the menu as I thought this was a restaurant that used chocolate in interesting ways and not just in desserts. There was nothing on the dinner menu using chocolate.

They had a creamed celery soup that night which was something a little different and very nice (though I think it would have benefitted with a little nutmeg in it.) The whole dinner turned out to be "nice" but not terrific and the prices are what has become the "usual downtown restaurant overpricing". I found most of the food sligthly "flat", lacking in seasoning. And as for the service, it was spotty. The time between the time we were seated and the time they came to tell us about the specials was a very long time, and this was early enough in the evening so that it wasn't crowded yet. It took too long to get the wine, we also ran out of water and had to flag someone else to get us some.

I'd like to try it again, perhaps for the brunch and check out some of the special chocolate dishes.

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Postby TheBookPolice » Wed Apr 04, 2007 4:04 pm

equuspower wrote:I thought this was a restaurant that used chocolate in interesting ways and not just in desserts.


Why?

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Postby equuspower » Wed Apr 04, 2007 4:33 pm

Why? Because the first time I was in the place, shortly after it opened, met my partner there for a drink before we went on to another event. We didn't eat there that night, but did read the menu while sitting at the bar. There were interesting things that included using coco powder in sauces and in other meat dishes. I thought it sounded interesting.

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Postby TAsunder » Wed Apr 04, 2007 4:56 pm

There's also the name, which is basically chocolate and liquor combined together.

I agree that it is uneven and maybe overpriced in some cases. But overall I enjoy it as long as I pick carefully. I like their chocolates. I prefer Nadia's for french food still, ghetto security tv monitors and all.

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Postby TheBookPolice » Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:45 pm

equus - Gotcha. I didn't know they'd ever done that, and frankly, I was wondering it was because of...

TA - ...the name. It only sounds like "chocolate" and "liquor." In truth, "chocolate" + "liquor" au Francais would be ChocolatBoisson. "Cocoliquot" is a made-up word that resembles both "little plate" and "poppy flower."

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Postby TAsunder » Thu Apr 05, 2007 9:12 am

First off, I never said it was french. Secondly, what I wrote is the exact thing told to me by two different staff members at two different times, so regardless of what it would actually be in french, that's the source of the name. Why don't you go in and argue with them about their name and report back to us? Maybe they'll change it for you.


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