Coco-colored glasses

Release Date: 2008-10-01

If St. Valentine lived in the Texas suburbs, Coco would be the type of bar he’d open. Almost every recipe, and many of the drink options, is made with chocolate as a main ingredient. It’s a legal opium den for middle-aged, middle-class women, or a good place to lull a date into submission.

Walking through the door, you’re immediately assaulted by RED. Coco is covered in the stuff — sorry, chocolate is reserved for the food and beverages — with red roses adorning countertops, red-hued paint on the walls, and red furniture. The only respites from this Cupid Gone Wild video are bright chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, a finished-wood bar, and a wine rack with a great selection.

The decent-sized lounge doubles as both bar and restaurant, with fine-dining tables and shell-shaped booths on one side of the room, a more intimate pillow-and-love-seat area (seriously), and an outside patio.

Drinks are moderate to expensive, but worth it. Coco offers a wide assortment of champagne and specialty martinis, including an entire page devoted to chocolate martinis. My female friend tries the aptly named Sexual martini ($7), a drink so exquisitely spicy and smooth, the need to find a soulmate is immediately quashed, as long as they do these “to go.” I stick with Coco’s Signature ($9), a martini that should come with a spoon; it’s close to liquefied mousse. A third friend tries a Moulin Rouge champagne mixer ($14), a so-so Kir Royale anyplace else.

My friends and I are here on a Friday night. The place is packed at 10 p.m. but is mostly dead by the time midnight rolls around. The waiter tells us that, with the bar closing at 1 a.m. on weekends, Coco is usually a pre-party destination, with other bars such as Swig North getting the business later on. Either that, or the clientele are at home making dentist appointments.

While the drinks are the stars here, the food menu provides plenty of options and a to-die-for dessert selection prepared by a master pastry chef. The big complaint comes every hour or so, when the music starts to repeat itself. A person can only take so much jazzy house in one night. Overall, Coco is a great place for ladies craving chocolate overload or a great tool for a man out to impress. Just make sure to prepare your wallet first.

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