Anyone been to Coca
Went to Coca last night, the new offshoot of Czehoski. Very dissappointing. The room is stunning, however food and service leave a lot to be desired. All dishes saturated in oils and butter, and very non imaginative. I will stick with Czehoski
I've gone to Coca twice and been impressed. The service I received was fine. The tapas isn't as good as Cava (http://www.cavarestaurant.ca), but there are some high points, like the salt cod. However, what really makes Coca stand out for me is the fun and cheap wines-by-the-glass. It's the best place to explore Spanish wines that I know of in the city. It helps that they sell wines in "taster" sizes, and that the wines are quite accurately described in the wine list. I wrote at longer length about the highlights in their wine list here:
Went there last Saturday. I had left a message for a reservation but they did not call back and the reservation didn't get taken. However, they found us a table without any problem. We really enjoyed the food. We had all the skewers, three of the cured meats a coca and a green bean with ham dish. We enjoyed all the food. The service was very fast until we ordered some green beans at the end. For some reason these took a very long time to come. However, the waiter did keep us updated on its progress and then didn't charge us for it. I would definitely recommend this place. Good food, friendly service. It is noisy, however, and if you don't eat pork your selection will be somewhat limited.
The good news (for me) is that I won't have a problem getting into these places! My experiences have been somewhat different.
At Coca I did have a "Coca" (sort of a flatbread pizza - my version had duck and pears), superb quail eggs, and also Licorice Olives; Quail stuffed with pork belly & figs; mushroom paella; and wild white prawns.
Indeed the prawns did come in butter (and garlic) with bread (excellent) to sop the sauce up - but none of the other dishes seemed greasy to me. I thought my dishes were reasonably imaginative (quail stuffed with pork belly being exceptionally so). And it's considerably cheaper than most of the other places that serve what are called tapas in Toronto.
And the aside on Czehoski (same ownership) also is at odds with my experiences. Service has indeed been patchy (although at Coca the service was much better when I visited), but for me it's still one of the most exciting places in Toronto. I'd much rather a chef takes risks and it doesn't quite work, than go for the ubiquitous veal/salmon/chicken in off-white sauce found in other places.
Czehoski was in my top 5 most visited places in 2006, and most were excellent, a couple outstanding and only one disappointment. (Maybe I should start a thread on 'most visited' places which reflect where I actually spend my money, rather than theoretically fine places).
I was at Coca early last week. I would also count my food experience as disappointing (good company saved my evening).
The room is pretty - I would not call it stunning.
Our service was pleasant.
But the food was very unremarkable. Tapas were not entirely traditional. Nothing we had was spectacular.
- Horse meat and foie gras were a definite zag for tapas, although both reasonably well prepared.
- Calarmari was run of the mill breaded roadhouse variety.
- Olives were olives.
- Bravas (traditional spanish potato balls) were OK.
-Prawns were actually quite good (although they were rather swimming in fat... butter, oil... don't recall).
- Bread with manchego (cheese) had unappealing texture (to me).
I still haven't found great tapas in Toronto (ask me about Boston!), but I'm going to try Torito next.
When it comes to eating at Coca or Czehoski, I'd stick with neither (although I think the upstairs at Czehoski's is lovely for wintertime drinks by the fire... especially on quiet nights).