Last night, my business partner and I went to Cocotte, a little French hamlet of a restaurant in the Russian Hill neighborhood of San Francisco. We're currently in town for a designers conference and were getting quite sick of hotel food. As we're both enamored with French food - we decided to give it a try and it didn't disappoint. In fact, we fell in love with the place.
Crowd: busy, but it was a Saturday night. Super friendly locals at the bar telling fun tales of emergency room experiences (weird, but quirky).
Atmosphere: friendly, low light, rustic with little chickens all over the bar area - very French.
Drinks: Timmermans Framboise draught. Yes, it was a raspberry-tasting beer, and yes it was pretty damn good. We also had a bottle of 2009 Chateau Saint Aubin (Medoc) which was pretty decent for its $46 price tag. It also held up well to the rabbit dish (see below).
Food: We shared the Coq au Vin and the Rabbit & Mustard (served with handmade fettucini, rabbit & mustard ragu, parmigiano and sage). I would have liked the Coq au Vin to have been served with tagliatelle or something similar - like they do in Burgundy - but it ended up being a good-size (albeit slightly heavy) portion of meat that sufficed. Although the bordeaux felt a little overpowering with the Coq (despite its richness) it held up very well to the creaminess of the rabbit. Yum yum! PS - while we didn't try their roast chicken that's served in a cocotte (they're actually a 'Rotisserie' and very well known for this dish), one of the friends we were with did have it and she said it was delicious and strongly recommended.
Dessert: We shared the Banana Creme Brûlée and for someone who doesn't like bananas (except in my smoothies) this was super yummy and I'd even consider making this dessert at home!
Would I come back again? You bet. And next time, I'll try the roast chicken.
Address: 1521 Hyde Street, San Francisco, CA 94109
Web: www.cocottesf.com (reservations online)