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Jan 6, 2009 03:23 AM

Coco's Cafe, Mt. Pleasant

Didn't find much on a CH search of this strip mall modest bistro in Mt. Pleasant, but got son and DIL a gift certificate on as a stocking stuffer. Good for date night.

Report from last night says this may be a keeper. Son claims the charcuterie plate was even better than SNOB's (our favorite app of all times there), all made in house, including rilettes, a sweetbread terrine, some sort of duck liver mousse, etc. DIL who is a vegetarian, thoroughly enjoyed her home made fries with aioli, and a huge Caesar salad. They apparently stuck with apps, which is usually a good idea we've all decided in the past.

Small, dark, very bistro like, pleasant and relaxed, they have a fixed price lunch which looks to be a great value as well. Anyone else been lately? Son wants to do a mother-child dinner.

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  1. It's been many years since I've dined at Coco's, but I remember it being good. I went for the fixed price lunch and your right it is a good deal. I may have to plan a return visit soon.

    1 Reply
    1. re: lizzy

      I visit Charleston annually and always make at least one stop at Coco's Cafe. For one vacation, I made reservations for three nights in a row. That may have been excessive! I find that it is always enjoyable but some nights are great while others are simply enjoyable. Overall, they do a very good job and I suggest that you look at their webpage for special events, etc.

    2. Coco's Cafe was one of my favorite places back when I lived in Mt. Pleasant. It was always my go-to place when I had guests or wanted a special meal.

      It is cozy inside and the staff and service are always very pleasant.......and the fact that you get great French food with a french accent makes it all that more authentic! I have to say that the Coquille St Jaques is amazing.........and by far, the creme caramel is to die for....the texture is the creamiest I've ever had (and I've had a lot!). The wine list is decent and the prices are reasonable. The only downside is that when it is busy, it gets a little cramped, especially if you have a table by the door because there is no "foyer" or waiting area for others who are waiting for a table.

      1. Had an opportunity to eat at Coco's last week and wrote a review for CofC's student paper. Was really pleasantly surprised. Here's what I had to say:

        "I'm admittedly a little biased against restaurants in strip malls. There is just something about those cookie-cutter neon signs that make me skeptical about the uniqueness and quality of the food. Still, every once in a while one of these inconspicuous eateries ends up being a nice surprise. Tucked away in the Harris Teeter / Whole Foods plaza off Houston Northcutt Boulevard, Mount Pleasant's Coco's Cafe represents one of the best such finds in the area.

        Further belied by the establishment's nondescript exterior is the romantic atmosphere which lies inside. The interior is comfortable and low lit. French accents adorn the walls and tables, including one three-foot replica of the Eiffel Tower. Our server (who was authentically French herself) was knowledgeable and polite; she had an answer for any question I had, without more than a moment's thought.

        Coco's menu features traditional French dishes at prices that seem very reasonable if you've spent much time dining downtown. In my opinion, the 10-minute drive out to Mount Pleasant seems well worth the $4-5 you will save on each entree.

        Though I was tempted to start my meal with the Moules Avec de la Biere Francaise ($8 - steamed mussels in andouille and Jenlain beer), it was impossible for me to resist the call of Langoustine Risotto de Crevette ($12 - shrimp and lobster risotto).

        Coco's risotto was expertly prepared. With textbook texture and the wonderful flavors of shrimp and lobster permeating through the rice, I can easily say that this was one of the best risottos I have come across.

        My partner chose the Ris de Veau ($12 - chili-orange glazed veal sweetbreads), a dish that reminded me quite a bit of the General Tso's style sweetbreads at McCrady's. The sweet and subtle heat of the sauce excellently complimented the natural spice of the sweetbreads.

        For my entree, I opted for the Bouillabaise ($20). Chock full of mussels, scallops, shrimp, and fish in a light saffron and tomato broth, a few bites will fulfill even the strongest seafood cravings. While I really enjoyed all the seafood, I do wish there would have been a bit more flavor in the broth. This may just be a matter of preference, but I prefer versions of bouillabaise that feature a somewhat stronger tomato flavor (like that at Hank's Seafood down by the Market).

        On my next visit to Coco's (and I do plan to go back) I don't think I'll have any choice but to order the entree my partner chose, the jealousy inducing Navarin d'Agneau ($18 - lamb shank navarin). The unbelievably tender meat is accompanied by green beans, shallots, and mashed potatoes and served in a delicious tomato, herb, and white wine sauce. The dish was truly an event for the senses; not only did it look and taste amazing, but the aroma was more than enough to make every mouth water within a five-foot radius.

        The profiteroles (cream puffs filled with sweet cream ice cream and topped with chocolate sauce) were a nice, but perhaps unecessary way to end the evening (I'm a restaurant critic, I've got to try a little of everything, right?). Coco's other dessert options that evening were chocolate mousse, caramel cream, and a chocolate terrine. Though I didn't sample any of those, I think it's a safe assumption that you can't go wrong.

        All-in-all, while Coco's has flown under my radar for quite a while, it has now firmly established itself as one of my go-to recommendations in Mount Pleasant. If you're looking for a less crowded option for a romantic meal for two, head on over the bridge and seek out this diamond in the rough."

        Hope this helps!
        - DH - One Charleston College Student's Guide to Food and Film